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Gladstone and Institute for Systems Biology collaborate on Huntington's disease
Date:6/15/2010

SAN FRANCISCO, CA June 15, 2010 The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) of Seattle, WA, is collaborating with the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) and its Taube-Koret Center for Huntington's Disease Research to use whole-genome sequencing to identify genes and novel drug targets related to the onset and progression of Huntington's disease (HD). The research team, led by GIND associate director and senior investigator Steven Finkbeiner, MD, PhD, will also use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from patients with HD to screen for drugs that might delay, prevent, or even reverse this devastating condition.

HD is an inherited degenerative brain disorder attributed to a single gene mutation. However, Finkbeiner, who directs the Taube-Koret Center for Huntington's Disease Research, explained that other genes may regulate the onset and progression of the disease and influence the particular symptoms that each individual experience. "We hope to find out why HD manifests and progresses in different ways in different people and to discover other genes that influence the disease," he said. This will expand the number of therapeutic targets that might be used to modulate the symptoms or progression of HD.

"ISB has already demonstrated the power of using whole family genome sequencing to identify genes that encode simple genetic diseases. This study offers the opportunity to go one step further and actually find genes that modify the effects of a well known disease genethat encoding the Huntington's Disease, " said ISB's president Lee Hood, MD, PhD. More than 100,000 Americans and more than 10 times that number worldwide have HD or are at risk of inheriting the disease from a parent.

"This is the first disease-focused project that will use the power of whole-genome sequencing in families," said David Galas, ISB's senior vice president for strategic partnerships. "With Gladstone's deep experience in Huntington's disease and in stem cell bi
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Contact: Valerie Tucker
vtucker@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-734-2019
Gladstone Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

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