Low Production of Reactive Oxygen Species Drives Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Vilma Urbonaviciute, Huqiao Luo, Christopher Sjöwall, Anders Bengtsson, Rikard Holmdahl

Research output: Contribution to journalDebate/Note/Editorial


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a common autoimmune disease. Recent findings have shown that a major single nucleotide variant predisposing to SLE is associated with low production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A variant amino acid in a frequent NCF1 allele causing deficient ROS production leads to an exaggerated type I interferon (IFN) response, earlier disease onset, and higher susceptibility to SLE. It is the so far strongest identified single nucleotide variant, with an odds ratio (OR) of >3 and an allele frequency of >10%. Its functional role is in sharp contrast to the earlier belief that excessive ROS production is exclusively pathogenic rather than protective. It opens new possibilities to understand the pathogenesis of SLE and to develop novel diagnostics and treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 11

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
  • Genetics

Free keywords

  • interferon
  • NADPH oxidase
  • neutrophil cytosolic factor 1
  • reactive oxygen species
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


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