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Gene combinations and interactions affect risk of Crohn's disease
Date:8/23/2013

Philadelphia, Pa. (August 22, 2013) A statistical model accounting for dozens of different genes in combinationand the interactions between themis an important step forward in understanding the genetic factors affecting the risk of Crohn's disease (CD), reports a study in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, official journal of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

It's not just how many risk genes are present but how those genes interact with each other that determines the inheritance of CD risk, suggests the report by a research group from the Cleveland Clinic and University of Pittsburgh. The study is the first to show that information on genetic interactions can improve the ability to predict CD risk and explain its genetic heritability.

New Model of 'Cumulative Genetic Effects and Interactions' Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting up to 700,000 Americans. Although the exact cause is unknown, CD appears to result from an "inappropriate persistent immune response." In addition to genetics, microbial and environmental factors likely play important roles in the development of CD.

Using modern genetic research methods, called genomewide association studies (GWAS), researchers have identified at least 71 genes that appear to affect CD risk. However, individual genes have only small effects on CD risk. Even after accounting for the combined effects of CD risk genes, less than one-fourth of CD heritability can be explained.

To address this issue, the researchers developed a new model exploring "higher-order genetic interactions" among known CD risk genes. The model was designed to
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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