Research Papers:

Aberrant DNA methylation of GATA binding protein 3 (GATA3), interleukin-4 (IL-4), and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) promoters in Behcet’s disease

Yunyun Zhu, Yiguo Qiu, Hongsong Yu, Shenglan Yi, Wencheng Su, Aize Kijlstra and Peizeng Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:64263-64272. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19500

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Yunyun Zhu1, Yiguo Qiu1, Hongsong Yu1, Shenglan Yi1, Wencheng Su1, Aize Kijlstra2 and Peizeng Yang1

1The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Chongqing Eye Institute, Chongqing, China

2University Eye Clinic Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Correspondence to:

Peizeng Yang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA methylation, Behcet’s disease, CD4+ T cell

Received: May 19, 2017    Accepted: June 12, 2017    Published: July 22, 2017


The pathogenesis of Behcet’s disease (BD) remains poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether an aberrant DNA methylation of transcriptional and inflammatory factors, including TBX21, GATA3, RORγt, FOXP3, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-17A and TGF-β, in CD4+T confers risk to BD. We found that the promoter methylation level of GATA3, IL-4 and TGF-β was significantly up-regulated in active BD patients and negatively correlated with the corresponding mRNA expression. The mRNA expression of GATA3 and TGF-β was markedly down-regulated in active BD patients compared to healthy individuals. Treatment with corticosteroids and cyclosporine (CsA) resulted in a decrease of the methylation level of GATA3 and TGF-β in inactive BD patients. Our results suggest that an aberrant DNA methylation of GATA3 and TGF-β is associated with their mRNA expression and participates in the pathogenesis of BD.

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PII: 19500