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Autophagy dysfunction may be involved in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis

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The present study aimed to investigate the expression and significance of the mRNA of genes associated with autophagy and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) GAS5 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The mRNA levels of microtubuleassociated protein light chain 3 (LC3), Beclin1, autophagyrelated gene (ATG)3, ATG5, ATG12, ATG 16 ligand 1 (ATG16L1) and lncRNA growth arrestspecific 5 (GAS5) in PBMCs from 60 patients with AS and 30 healthy controls (HC) were examined by reverse transcriptionquantitative PCR. The correlations between the levels of LC3, Beclin1, ATG3, ATG5, ATG12 and ATG16L1 mRNA as well as lncRNA GAS5 levels with disease activity and laboratory parameters in patients with AS were determined by Spearman correlation analysis. In addition, the diagnostic value of lncRNA GAS5 for AS was explored through establishing a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The results indicated that, compared to the HCs, patients with AS had lower expression levels of LC3, ATG5, ATG12, ATG16L1 and lncRNA GAS5 in their PBMCs. Compared with those in patients with inactive AS, the levels of ATG5 and ATG12 were lower than those in patients with active AS. Of note, ATG5 and ATG12 mRNA levels were negatively correlated with disease activity indexes. lncRNA GAS5 was positively correlated with the expression of Beclin1, ATG3, ATG5, ATG12 and ATG16L1. The area under the ROC curve for the use of lncRNA GAS5 expression to diagnose AS was 0.808 with a 95% CI of 0.7140.902. In conclusion, patients with AS had decreased expression of genes associated with autophagy and lncRNA GAS5. The extent of the reduction in ATG5 and ATG12 expression levels in patients with AS was correlated with the disease severity and activity. Furthermore, lncRNA GAS5 was a diagnostic indicator of AS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geriatrics, The Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, Sichuan 637000, P.R. China 2: Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, The Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, Sichuan 637000, P.R. China

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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  • Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine aims to ensure the expedient publication, in both print and electronic format, of studies relating to biology, gene therapy, infectious disease, microbiology, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. The journal welcomes studies pertaining to all aspects of molecular medicine, and studies relating to in vitro or in vivo experimental model systems relevant to the mechanisms of disease are also included.

    All materials submitted to this journal undergo the appropriate review via referees who are experts in this field. All materials submitted follow international guidelines with regard to approval of experiments on humans and animals.
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