Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified, for the first time, a gene variation associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a complex, inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects multiple organs. The gene variation, known as PTPN22, is found in approximately 16 percent (or one in six) of healthy Caucasians in the United States. However, nearly one in four (or 23 percent) lupus patients carry this variant, which has also now been associated with risk for type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The study is published in the September edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
"This appears to be a very important gene for lupus," said Timothy W. Behrens, M.D., professor of medicine, Medical School, and principal investigator, "and this is the first time we have identified a variant that predisposes to many different autoimmune diseases. We hope that this discovery will lead to the identification of other genes associated with lupus and other immune disorders." Behrens believes that dozens of genes may be responsible for lupus and that discovering the combination of these genes will be important to developing better diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
In SLE, a persons immune system begins attacking its own tissues. Organs commonly targeted in SLE include the skin, kidneys, joints, lungs, and the central nervous system. The severity of disease and the response to therapy vary widely between patients, said Behrens, and this leads to significant challenges in the diagnosis and management of lupus. "If we know which genes predispose a person to lupus, we may be able to diagnose and treat the disease earlier," he said. "In addition to discovering which combination of genes lead to lupus and other immune diseases, we also hope this information will help us identify new drugs and therapies."
Brenda Hudson | EurekAlert!
Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences