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:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... For ... a cross-disciplinary group of scholars, policymakers, and activists wanting to address equity issues ... is the third book from a recent series of from this conference. ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... In a continuous effort to ... a luxury online mattress company that specializes in natural and organic latex mattresses, has ... autism organization) for every unique share their recent viral Facebook video receives, ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Hill Agencies, a family managed firm that offers insurance ... Valley, is announcing a joint charity initiative with the Boys and Girls Club of ... event. , The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County gives young people in ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... ML Billing, 2016 Billing Company of the Year ... in large group practices, is pleased to announce their 30th anniversary. Not only has ... standard in all aspects of full-service medical billing. This has allowed ML Billing to ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2017 , ... ... is now called the HighQ Learning Tab. Due to the rapid expansion of their ... clearly identifying each type of product. Now, the HighQ brand will be any ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... 2017 Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ... fiscal second quarter ended April 1, 2017 .   ... 666.7% compared to the prior year period as the ... significant gain, while non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.50 increased ... in constant currency terms.  Excluding the effects of blood ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Ill. , May 10, 2017 Radiology ... today; unfortunately its costs have also spiraled to the ... being sent to radiology than ever before as the ... diagnosis.  For a patient with lower back pain an ... no anatomical reason for pain, resulting in entirely different ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... 9, 2017  Demonstrating its commitment to representing ... for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ... companies will now have to meet new research ... eligible to join PhRMA. "By putting ... sending a clear message that being a member ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: