Navigation Links
A genetic accelerator hits the gas on autoimmune diseases
Date:1/16/2012

A "genetic accelerator" is responsible for the most severe cases of Lupus (systemic lupus erythemathosus), an autoimmune disease: the accelerator, called enhancer HS1.2, speeds up the activity of some critical genes of the immune system involved in the disease.

A team of Italian researchers at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome found that the enhancer HS1.2 is like the accelerator of the car and boosts the pathological immune response typical of the disease by enhancing the production of the pathological antibodies that attack the patient's body instead of defending it (autoantibodies).

Professor Gianfranco Ferraccioli, Head of the Rheumatology Unit of Rheumatology and Internal Medicine of the Catholic University led the research in collaboration with Professor Domenico Frezza at Tor Vergata University of Rome and Professor Raffaella Scorza at University of Milan and they published their results in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The discovery could lead to more targeted and effective therapies against this complex disease, in particular against the most severe cases, Professor Ferraccioli explained.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease, that is a condition in which the patient's immune system goes haywire and begins to attack the body rather than defend it. Lupus affects about 60,000 people in Italy, with a major prevalence among females. Lupus affects so several different organs and tissues and causes a variety of symptoms, including joint pain, fever, skin rashes, hair loss, Raynaud's disease, anemia, nephritis.

The therapies currently used are based on cortisone, anti-malarial drugs and immunosuppressants (azathioprine, mycophenolate, cyclophosphamide) and biologic drugs (rituximab, Belimumab).

But in many cases Lupus is more aggressive and so far the origin of this particular severity was quite unclear.

Italian researchers discovered that the cause of the most severe cases is the accelerator HS1.2 enhancer. Enhancers are DNA sequences that accelerate the activation of neighboring genes and enhance their functioning, hence the name.

HS1.2 leads to enhanced activation of the "transcription factor NF-KB" (a transcription factor is a molecule that "reads" the genes to make them work), which in turn dramatically increases the aggressiveness of the inflammatory processes underlying the disease.

Italian researchers have discovered that over 30 per cent of the patients has the enhancer HS1.2 in their Dna and that it causes a more severe form of Lupus.

The researchers reached this finding after demonstrating that the enhancer HS1.2 promotes also other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and identified how the enhancer causes increased susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.

"Our results suggest that new drugs that turn off the enhancer HS1.2, or inhibit its effect on NF-KB, can stop the disease without the need for immunosuppressive drugs or other therapies with many side effects," Ferraccioli said. "Moreover the discovery of the role of this enhancer allows us to better classify patients and formulate a precise prognosis for each one moving toward more personalized care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Gianfranco Ferraccioli
gf.ferraccioli@rm.unicatt.it
39-347-322-4547
Catholic University of Rome
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. UNC scientists collaborate to find first major genetic mutation associated with hereditary prostate cancer risk
2. TGen researchers map potential genetic origins, pathways of lung cancer in nonsmokers
3. Genetic predisposition to disease common in 2 supercentenarians: New study
4. Doubt Cast on Use of Genetic Test Before Plavix
5. Analysis does not support genetic test before use of anti-clotting drug
6. Key genetic error found in family of blood cancers
7. Researchers describe a new genetic program that converts static cells into mobile invasive cells
8. Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Resource Exchange joins NIH National Database for Autism Research
9. Study probes genetic link to sickle cell pain management
10. Unique genetic marker may improve detection of recurrent ovarian cancer
11. Scientists identify strategies to conquer lifestyle and genetic factors related to chronic diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s ... the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether administered by a professional masseuse or ... relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) has taken ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Rafael, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... with ChildLight Yoga Studio in Dover, NH to direct high-performance kids yoga training. ChildLight ... New Hampshire’s seacoast, just one hour from Boston. , ChildLight Yoga Studio founder Lisa ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Give To Cure today announced that it ... to Give To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to help find cures ... payments through a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 billion in transactions ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Justin ... announce their 2nd Annual No Cost Dental Day to individuals in need. The event ... purpose of this No Cost Dental Day is to provide dental care to community ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... In sleep, ... form as a dream. A hallmark feature of patients with eating disorders is significant ... The eating disorder behaviors and obsessions are regarded as maladaptive means for coping with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 Frontier Pharma: ... Commercializing First-in-Class Innovation Chronic Obstructive ... with chronic inflammation of the airways and lungs. ... symptoms make the disease one of the leading ... death in the world. COPD is linked to ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... biofiltration devices to treat life-threatening diseases, today announced ... ended December 31, 2015. --> ... set forth in our last quarterly call, we ... our long-term objective to establish the Aethlon Hemopurifier® ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Blueprint Medicines ... discovering and developing highly selective investigational kinase medicines ... the appointment to its board of directors of ... with nearly 30 years of industry-related experience. ... of Blueprint Medicines. "Lonnel,s strong strategic experience developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: