Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Identification of genetic risk factor for coeliac disease promises improved treatment

12.06.2007
An international research consortium investigating the genetic causes of intestinal inflammatory conditions has identified a new genetic risk factor for coeliac disease. The findings, published online today (10 June 2007) in the science journal Nature Genetics, could pave the way towards improved diagnostics and treatments for the common, lifelong complaint.

Led by David van Heel, Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Queen Mary, University of London, the study - funded by the charity Coeliac UK, and the Wellcome Trust - has revealed that those suffering from coeliac disease lack a protective DNA sequence in a specific gene region, otherwise found in healthy individuals.

Behind the success of the study are the Human Genome Project and the Hap Map Project, international research efforts to reveal the entire sequence of all the human chromosomes - and the functional units embedded within - and to correlate that information to common sequence variation in the human population.

Dr Panos Deloukas, Senior Investigator in Human Genetics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and part of the research consortium, said: “These resources coupled with technological advances have enabled us to scan variation across the human genome in large numbers of people for association to disease.” The Sanger Institute made available to the study the genome data on 1500 British individuals used as controls (i.e without coeliac disease). The consortium studied over four thousand individuals with and without coeliac disease, amongst British, Irish and Dutch populations.

... more about:
»Genetic »Risk »coeliac »coeliac disease »risk factor

What they found is that healthy individuals more often have a protective DNA sequence in the interleukin-2 and interleukin-21 gene region than individuals with coeliac disease. Interleukin-2 and interleukin-21 are cytokine proteins secreted by white blood cells that control inflammation. It is likely that the protective DNA sequence leads to different amounts of these cytokines being produced – than in someone with coeliac disease – providing defence against intestinal inflammation.

Coeliac disease is found in around 1 in 100 of the British population. It is caused by intolerance to gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley and rye - which results in damage to the gut, preventing normal digestion and absorption of food. If undetected it can lead to, amongst other things, anaemia, poor bone health, and weight loss. Although the majority of people are diagnosed in mid-life, symptoms can present themselves at anytime, for example during illness, stress, or post-trauma. There is a strong inherited (genetic) risk.

Professor David van Heel, chief investigator in the study, said; “We previously knew that coeliac individuals had a specific tissue type which recognised wheat proteins. We did not know why healthy individuals who had the same tissue type did not develop symptoms or disease. The first findings from our study suggest that interleukin genes that control inflammation are critical. We expect to find more disease risk factors from further in-depth analysis of the genome wide data.”

Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK said: ‘This research heralds an important breakthrough in understanding better who is likely to develop coeliac disease. Around 1 in 100 people develop the disease but predicting who is susceptible is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Currently genetic testing is a blunt instrument which can only narrow down the search to around one third of the general population’.

The study provides a road-map to enable discovery of further genetic risk factors predisposing to coeliac disease.

Alex Fernandes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qmul.ac.uk
http://www.sanger.ac.uk

Further reports about: Genetic Risk coeliac coeliac disease risk factor

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>