Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a highly prevalent human autoimmune diseases that causes progressive glomerulonephritis, arthritis and an erythematoid rash. Mice deficient in deoxyribonuclease I (Dnase1) develop an SLE-like syndrome. Here we describe two patients with a heterozygous nonsense mutation in exon 2 of DNASE1, decreased DNASE1 activity and an extremely high immunoglobulin G titer against nucleosomal antigens. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that a direct connection exists between low activity of DNASE1 and progression of human SLE.
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