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Decreased expression of BECN1 mRNA is associated with lupus nephritis

This study aimed to investigate the mRNA expression of the autophagy-related gene BECN1 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and to analyse the relationship of its expression with SLE clinical characteristics and disease activities. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect the mRNA expression levels of BECN1 in 79 SLE patients and 45 healthy controls. BECN1 was downregulated in the 79 patients with SLE (P<0.001), and those with downregulated BECN1 mRNA exhibited a significantly increased incidence of nephritis (85.3% vs. 64.4%, P=0.038). BECN1 mRNA downregulation, which may be related to deficiency in autophagosome formation, can promote the pathogenesis of SLE and nephritis.

Author(s): Xiong-Yan Luo, Ming-Hui Yang, Qin Wei, Kuen Li, Yi Liu, Guo-Hua Yuan