Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new light shed on genetic regulation's role in the predisposition to common diseases

03.09.2012
Genetic disease risk differences between one individual and another are based on complex aetiology. Indeed, they may reflect differences in the genes themselves, or else differences at the heart of the regions involved in the regulation of these same genes.
By gene regulation we mean the decision that the cell makes as to when, where and at what level to activate or suppress the expression of a gene. In theory, two people could thus share a gene that is perfectly identical and yet show differences in their predisposition to a disease due to genetic differences concerning the regulation (overexpression or underexpression) of this same gene.

Numerous teams are currently trying to draw up a map of regions involved in gene regulation. Not an easy task, but invaluable since it allows us to understand all the genetic causes that can explain the predisposition to certain diseases.

Working with twins
Emmanouil Dermitzakis, Louis-Jeantet Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and member of the NCCR Frontiers in Genetics and the Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva (IGE3), is a specialist in what is called the genetics of complex traits. With an international team co-led by Professor Tim Spector (Kings College), Professor Mark McCarthy (Oxford University) and Dr. Panos Deloukas (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), he publishes a study highlighting thousands of these genetic variants that seem to explain individual differences in gene expression.

For this work, the researchers used samples of three different tissue types (adipose tissue, skin and blood cells) collected from more than 800 homozygotic (identical) and dizygotic twins.

"Identifying variants which control the activity of many genes is a greater challenge than we anticipated but we are developing appropriate tools to uncover them and understand their contribution to disease," comments Panos Deloukas. "Modern human genetics combined with samples donated by the participants in studies such as TwinsUK is making great strides towards finding the genetic culprits behind human disease."

The method researchers followed allowed them to uncover nearly 358 variants apparently involved in the predisposition to certain diseases including quantifying the contribution of rare regulatory variants that was previously not possible to identify by conventional analysis methods.

"Our work adds to those who have previously demonstrated the contribution of common variants in the predisposition to these disorders", explains Emmanouil Dermitzakis. "Thanks to this new level of knowledge, and if we manage to adapt this methodology to search for these variants in each individual, this will be a powerful tool to help prognose the predisposition to certain diseases and more importantly understand the biological aetiology in order to develop and employ individualized treatments."

Emmanouil Dermitzakis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unige.ch

Further reports about: Genetics blood cell gene regulation genetic variant

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>