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New insight into the functions of the interleukin-17 receptor adaptor protein Act1 in psoriatic arthritis

Matthew S Doyle1, Emily S Collins1, Oliver M FitzGerald12 and Stephen R Pennington1*

Author affiliations

1 Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

2 Department of Rheumatology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin, Ireland

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:226  doi:10.1186/ar4071

Published: 31 October 2012


Recent genome-wide association studies have implicated the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 3-interacting protein 2 (TRAF3IP2) gene and its product, nuclear factor-kappa-B activator 1 (Act1), in the development of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The high level of sequence homology of the TRAF3IP2 (Act1) gene across the animal kingdom and the presence of the Act1 protein in multiple cell types strongly suggest that the protein is of importance in normal cellular function. Act1 is an adaptor protein for the interleukin-17 (IL-17) receptor, and recent observations have highlighted the significance of IL-17 signaling and localized inflammation in autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes data from recent genome-wide association studies as well as immunological and molecular investigations of Act1. Together, these studies provide new insight into the role of IL-17 signaling in PsA. It is well established that IL-17 activation of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) signaling pathways normally leads to nuclear factor-kappa-B-mediated inflammation. However, the dominant PsA-associated TRAF3IP2 (Act1) gene single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs33980500) results in decreased binding of Act1 to TRAF6. This key mutation in Act1 could lead to a greater association of the IL-17 receptor with TRAF2/TRAF5 and this in turn suggests an alternative function for IL-17 in PsA. The recent observations described and discussed in this review raise the clinically significant possibility of redefining the immunological role of IL-17 in PsA and provide a basis for defining future studies to elucidate the molecular and cellular functions of Act1.