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deCODE Discovers Common Genetic Variations Contributing to Low Bone Mineral Density and Risk of Osteoporosis
Date:12/15/2008

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, December 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Findings Point to Potential Therapeutic Pathways and Provide Widening Basis for the Development of a Risk Assessment Test

Scientists from deCODE genetics (Nasdaq: DCGN) and colleagues from Australia and Denmark today report the discovery of common single-letter variations (SNPs) in the human genome linked to low bone mineral density (BMD), the clinical measurement used to diagnose osteoporosis. deCODE had previously identified five sites in the genome harboring SNPs with influence on BMD, and today's study has added four more. They were identified through the correlation of BMD measurements with more than 300,000 SNPs across the genomes of 7,000 study participants in Iceland. The findings were then followed up and replicated in more than 5,000 participants from Denmark and Australia. The paper, "New sequence variants associated with bone mineral density," is published today in the online edition of Nature Genetics at http://www.nature.com/ng, and will appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

The new variants reported today are located on chromosomes 17q21, 14q32, 12q13 and 18q21. Like the variants previously discovered by deCODE, certain of those reported today are known to be involved in bone and skeletal development. The SNPs on chromosome 17 are adjacent to the SOST gene, which encodes sclerostin, a protein involved in the formation of bone. And the SNP on chromosome 18 lies close to the TNFRSF11A gene that has been implicated in Paget's disease, a disorder causing localized bone deformities and weakness.

"This study expands our understanding of the genetic factors contributing to low bone mineral density, propensity to fractures, and osteoporosis. And the genetics is c
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SOURCE deCODE genetics Inc
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