Aim: To evaluate genetic and expression variability of three miRNAs potentially involved in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to identify any miRNA's target gene. Materials & methods: Gene polymorphisms and expression levels of three miRNAs have been evaluated in a cohort of SLE patients and controls. Results: MiR-142 and miR-499a were significantly down-expressed in patients (p = 0.005 and p = 0.02, respectively). A trend for down-expression of miR-155 was also observed (p = 0.07). The lower expression of miR-142 was associated with the rs2632516 polymorphism variant allele (p = 0.002). Predictive analyses identified a target gene common to the three miRNAs, MDM2, whose higher expression was seen in patients compared with controls (p = 0.03). Conclusion: The three miRNAs and MDM2 might be involved in SLE.
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