Both genetic pre-disposition and potential environmental triggers are shared between Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease (CD). We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the negative T-cell regulators Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Nonreceptor type 2 and 22 (PTPN2/22) lead to a dysregulated immune response as seen in RA and CD. To test the hypothesis, peripheral leukocytes samples from 204 consented subjects were TaqMan genotyped for 9 SNPs in PTPN2/22. The SNPs effect on PTPN2/22 and IFN-y expression was determined using RT-PCR. Blood samples were analyzed for the Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) IS900 gene by nPCR. T-cell proliferation and response to phytohematoagglutonin (PHA) mitogen and MAP cell lysate were determined by BrdU proliferation assay. Out of 9 SNPs, SNP alleles of PTPN2:rs478582 occurred in 79% RA compared to 60% control (p-values ≤ 0.05). SNP alleles of PTPN22:rs2476601 occurred in 29% RA compared to 6% control (p-values ≤ 0.05). For the haplotype combination of PTPN2:rs478582/PTPN22rs2476601, 21.4% RA had both SNPs (C-A) compared to 2.4% control (p-values ≤ 0.05). PTPN2/22 expression in RA was decreased by an average of 1.2 fold. PTPN2:rs478582 upregulated IFN-y in RA by an average of 1.5 fold. Combined PTPN2:rs478582/PTPN22:rs2476601 increased T-cell proliferation by an average of 2.7 fold when treated with PHA. MAP DNA was detected in 34% RA compared to 8% controls (p-values ≤ 0.05), where samples with PTPN2:rs478582 and/or PTPN22:rs2476601 were more MAP positive. PTPN2:rs478582/PTPN22:rs2476601 together with MAP infection significantly increased T-cell response and IFN-y expression in RA samples. The same experimental approach was followed on blood samples from CD patients. Both PTPN2:rs478582/PTPN22:rs2476601 affected PTPN2/22 and IFN-y expression along with T-cell proliferation significantly more than in RA. MAP DNA was detected in 64% of CD. This is the first study to report the correlation between SNPs in PTPN2/22, IFN-y expression and MAP in autoimmune disease.


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Graduation Date





Naser, Saleh


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences









Release Date

December 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2019; it will then be open access.

Included in

Biotechnology Commons