Navigation Links
Genomes of identical twins reveal epigenetic changes that may play role in lupus
Date:12/21/2009

Identical twins look the same and are nearly genetically identical, but environmental factors and the resulting cellular changes could cause disease in one sibling and not the other. In a study published online in Genome Research (www.genome.org), scientists have studied twins discordant for the autoimmune disease lupus, mapping DNA modifications across the genome and shedding light on epigenetic changes that may play a role in the disease.

Because the genetic makeup of monozygotic twins (commonly known as identical twins) is nearly identical, phenotypic traits and heritable diseases are often concordant, manifesting in both siblings. However, some phenotypes and diseases such as autoimmune disease can arise in only one sibling, suggesting other factors such as environment likely play a role in determining phenotypic differences.

Epigenetic modifications, cellular changes that can influence expression of genes, are now widely recognized to influence phenotype and frequently occur in disease. Furthermore, environmental factors such as diet and chemical exposure can change the epigenetic status of genes. Recent research has identified epigenetic modifications at several aberrantly regulated genes in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and other studies have suggested that epigenetic differences are associated with phenotypic discordance between identical twins.

In this work, researchers from Spain and the United States performed the first genome-wide high-throughput analysis of a specific epigenetic modification, DNA methylation, in the context of autoimmune disease. Taking advantage of the identical genetic background in monozygotic twins, the group directly compared DNA methylation in healthy twins and twins discordant for autoimmune diseases, including SLE, looking for changes that could be related to pathogenesis in one sibling and not the other.

In the case of SLE, the group found widespread changes in DNA methylation status at a significant number of genes. Dr. Esteban Ballestar, senior author of the study, noted that this is the largest number of genes exhibiting DNA methylation changes observed in an autoimmune disease to date, and includes genes previously implicated in SLE pathogenesis. Importantly, Ballestar's team found that a significant number of the novel differentially methylated genes are related to multiple immune system functions and are potentially linked to SLE.

"Our study suggests that the effect of the environment or differences in lifestyle may leave a molecular mark in key genes for immune function that contributes to the differential onset of the disease in twins," Ballestar said. Most studies of DNA methylation and human disease have been in the context of cancer research, Ballestar noted, and he hopes that this work will attract more researchers to also investigate DNA methylation alterations in autoimmune disease and other disorders for the development of therapies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peggy Calicchia
calicchi@cshl.edu
516-422-4012
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. International team compares 12 fruit fly genomes
2. Scientists decode genomes of diverse TB isolates
3. Latest Integrated Microbial Genomes data management system update release
4. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features methods to screen genomes and analyze evolution
5. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features methods for analyzing genomes and plant cells
6. New computational technique allows comparison of whole genomes as easily as whole books
7. After dinosaurs, mammals rise but their genomes get smaller
8. Genomes reveal bacterial lifestyles: Research
9. Genomes of 2 popular research strains of E. coli sequenced
10. Singapore scientists join international study of 10,000 vertebrates genomes
11. Identical twins not as identical as believed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2016)... , December 22, 2016 SuperCom (NASDAQ: ... secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance sectors ... SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy a community-based supportive ... Northern California , further expanding its presence in the ... This new ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 16, 2016 Research ... Access System Market - Global Forecast to 2021" report to ... ... projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.06% from 2016 to ... 2016, and is projected to reach 854.8 Million by 2021. The ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016 Advancements ... experience, health wellness and wellbeing (HWW), and ... in three new passenger vehicles begin to ... gesture recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain wave ... facial monitoring, and pulse detection. These will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... DaVita Clinical Research (DCR), a ... device development, and Prism Clinical Research , a leader in providing fully ... Clinical Trials (VCT) has been selected by both companies as an exclusive ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Acupath Laboratories, Inc., a leading provider of ... Executive Committee that will guide the company,s vision and ... Cucci , a 15-year veteran of the anatomic pathology ... to Chief Sales Officer .  Prior to joining ... sales leadership roles at several leading lab industry organizations ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... According to a new market research report "In situ Hybridization Market ... User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 5.8%. ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... --  Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) , a nonprofit ... dystrophy (Duchenne) , today announced a $600,000 grant to ... (NJIT) and Talem Technologies (Talem) as part of the ... assist people living with Duchenne. PPMD is funding a ... computer, software, a force sensor and a motor – ...
Breaking Biology Technology: