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Volume 33, Issue 3, September 2022



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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2022;33(3):371-4
Postgenomic Bioinformatic Analysis of Nucleic Acid Sequences Expressed in the Salivary Gland Epithelial Cells of Primary Sjögren's Syndrome Patients in Search of Microorganisms and Endogenous Retroviruses
Authors Information

1Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

2 Molecular Carcinogenesis Group, Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

3 Department of Hygiene Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Abstract
Several previous studies from our laboratory have indicated that the salivary gland epithelia of primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS) patients are not only the target of autoimmune immune responses, but also key instigators of the chronic salivary gland inflammatory infiltrates of patients. In particular, the comparative analysis of salivary gland tissue specimens and of in-vitro cultured non-neoplastic salivary gland epithelial cell lines (SGEC, of ductal type) from SS-patients and non-SS disease-controls, have unequivocally highlighted the presence of intrinsic activation in the ductal epithelia of SS-patients and of aberrant expression of inflammagenic molecules thereof, that correlate with the severity of local histopathologic changes, as well as of systemic manifestations of the disease. In the same context, we have recently shown that the ductal epithelia of SS-patients manifest cell-autonomous activation of the AIM2 inflammasome owing to the presence of aberrant cytoplasmic accumulations of damaged DNA. These findings not only provide a mechanistic explanation for the intrinsic activation and inflammatory status of SS ductal epithelia, but may also point towards the putative instigating role of an exogenous or endogenous agent (i.e., a micro-organism or an endogenous retrovirus, respectively). On this basis and to further explore the nature of epithelial cell-intrinsic activation in SS, the present proposal aims to investigate the expression of endogenous retroviral and/or non-human nucleic acid sequences of microbial origin in the ductal salivary gland epithelia of SS-patients, using metagenomic analysis of high throughput DNA and RNA genome sequencing data, which will be obtained from SGEC lines derived from SS-patients and disease-controls.

Cite this article as: Manoussakis MN, Svolaki IP, Hazapis O, Zerva L, Gorgoulis VH, Magiorkinis G. Postgenomic Bioinformatic Analysis of Nucleic Acid Sequences Expressed in the Salivary Gland Epithelial Cells of Primary Sjögren's Syndrome Patients in Search of Microorganisms and Endogenous Retroviruses. Mediterr J Rheumatol 2022;33(3):371-4.

Article Submitted: 16 Jun 2022; Article Accepted: 22 Jun 2022; Available Online: 30 Sep 2022

https://doi.org/10.31138/mjr.33.3.371

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

©Manoussakis MN, Svolaki IP, Hazapis O, Zerva L, Gorgoulis VH, Magiorkinis G.