This release is available in Spanish.
Celiac disease (CD) involves intolerance to gluten and, consequently, suffering chronic illness in the small intestine. It is a genetic disorder, the immunological indications of which can be traced in the human body prior to the everyday activities of future sufferers being affected. For example, persons with genetic antecedents for CD develop antibodies against the gene tTG (the enzyme known as tissue transglutaminase), even before the illness becomes active, due to a cell reaction against gluten.
The clinical symptoms of CD appear only in the final stages of the disease. This is why it is important to find the genes linked to it, thus facilitating an early diagnosis, as well as fighting against CD before it becomes an active illness. In effect, biologist Ms Ainara Castellanos has opened a door to the elucidation of this: her research was aimed at identifying genes that may have a functional involvement in the CD, developing a tool which, amongst other things, looked at the changes in gene expression. For example, she was able to verify that the gene known as UBD may be linked to CD. Her thesis, defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), is entitled, Functional players in celiac disease: identification and genetic association.
Intestinal biopsies at Cruces hospital
In order to undertake her research, Ms Castellanos used intestinal biopsies at the Hospital de Cruces (in Barakaldo, near the Basque city of Bilbao), drawing up a strategy that crossed data on gene levels of expression gathered from these biopsies, information about the anatomical regions closely linked to CD, and various bioinformatic instruments.
The research undertaken in this thesis confirmed that this tool, which takes levels of expression of the genes into account, is useful in identify
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