Navigation Links
Genes linked with lupus are revealed, giving hope for new treatments

Scientists have identified a number of genes involved in Lupus, a devastating autoimmune disease, in new research published today in the journal Nature Genetics.

In an international genetic study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found evidence of an association between Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) and mutations in several different genes.

The findings, by scientists from Imperial College London and institutions in the USA and Sweden, will enable researchers to investigate the specific pathways and precise molecular mechanisms involved in developing Lupus, potentially opening up options for new therapies. Lupus is a complex condition, mostly affecting women, which frequently causes skin rash, joint pains and malaise, and which can also lead to inflammation of the kidneys and other internal organs.

The scientists discovered the strongest associations with Lupus in three genes: ITGAM, PXK, and one mutation within a gene KIAA1542, a gene whose function is not definitely known.

The ITGAM gene provides code for a molecule involved in a system, known as the complement system, which forms part of the body's immune response. Complement is a series of proteins in the blood which is designed to stick to the surface of bacteria and bugs in order to enable them to be attacked by the immune system.

The discovery of variations in the ITGAM gene in people with Lupus supports the idea that abnormalities in the way complement and antibodies bind to immune cells play a key part in the disease. It is already known that people with Lupus often have low levels of complement in their blood.

The role of the molecules encoded by the PXK gene and KIAA1542 genes in Lupus is less easy to predict, and the discovery of their association is more surprising to the researchers, opening up new avenues of research into the disease.

Other genes, including LYN and BLK, also appear to be involved in Lupus. These genes affect the function of B cells, which play a key role in the production of antibodies. Autoantibodies, which attack the body's own proteins, contribute to the damage done to the body in Lupus.

The new research also confirms links identified in previous studies between Lupus, as well as other autoimmune diseases, and certain other genes.

Professor Timothy Vyse, a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow from the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London, and one of the authors of the study, said: "Lupus is a complex disease, which is hard to diagnose, and it can cause many different and unpredictable problems for patients. Living with Lupus can be really tough. We currently can treat the disease by suppressing the immune system, but we urgently need to understand in much more detail what goes wrong with the immune system so that we can design better treatments. This study represents a milestone in progress towards unravelling the secrets of the disease.

"We are continuing to work on refining these genetic studies. Blood samples from patients with Lupus have helped us already and we are very grateful to those who have given us samples. We always need more samples and would like to hear from anyone with Lupus who would like to help us by giving blood samples for this important research," added Professor Vyse.

The researchers reached their conclusions after comparing the genetic makeup of 720 women of European descent with Lupus and 2,337 women without Lupus. They looked at mutations in the building blocks, called nucleotides, which make up DNA.

There are mutations in around one in every 600 nucleotides and the scientists examined over 317,000 how many of these mutations to find those specific to Lupus. These mutations are known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

The researchers confirmed their results by comparing another set of genetic data for 1,846 women with Lupus and 1,825 women without Lupus.


Contact: Laura Gallagher
Imperial College London

Related biology news :

1. Body weight influenced by thousands of genes
2. Study locates cholesterol genes; finds surprises about good, bad cholesterol
3. 2 genes are important key to regulating immune response
4. Evolution with a restricted number of genes
5. When shes turned on, some of her genes turn off
6. Feinstein researchers develop new genetic method and identify novel genes for schizophrenia
7. Duke scientists map imprinted genes in human genome
8. Manure management reduces levels of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes
9. New book defines promising young field of adult neurogenesis
10. Evolutionary comparison finds new human genes
11. Genes influence age-related hearing loss
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 The ... 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) ... guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the ... has already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s ... for BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of ... In addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf ... join the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of ... between the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, ... government. "In certain ... institutions have common economic goals, why not sit down and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
Breaking Biology Technology: