UCSF investigators have developed a method to potentially predict disease severity and/or treatment response in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. The investigators analyzed DNA methylation profiles in a cohort of 333 patients. They identified 256 differentially methylated CpG sites, which can serve as biomarkers for disease severity and to guide treatment with anti-type I interferon signaling therapy or other emerging therapies. This method is the first to subtype SLE patients integrating clinical and methylation data. The invention is currently undergoing further validation and reproducibility tests in additional patient cohorts to determine its potential for predicting disease outcomes and treatment response.
• First method to subtype of SLE patients utilizing clinical and methylation data
• DNA methylation could be a more stable biomarker than gene expression data
• The method was developed using a diverse patient cohort, including African American, Caucasian, Asian, and Hispanic patients to be profiled for genome wide DNA methylation and genotyping
• The method evaluates a variety of sites capable of predicting responses not only to current treatments, such as anti-interferon therapies, but also emerging and previously unidentified therapeutic targets