Navigation Links
LJI develops new approach to identify genes poised to respond in asthma patients
Date:7/8/2014

SAN DIEGO July 8, 2014 In a study published yesterday in the scientific journal Nature Immunology, a group at the La Jolla Institute (LJI) led by Pandurangan Vijayanand, Ph.D. identify new genes that likely contribute to asthma, a disease that currently affects over 200 million people world wide.

An organism's genetic material, also known as its genome, can be divided into small sections or 'neighborhoods.' Scientists can determine which genetic neighborhoods in a cell are active, or primed for gene production, by looking for a marker on the genome called an enhancer. An enhancer can increase the production of genes in its immediate neighborhood. The goal of the published study is to find genes whose neighborhoods are active in diseased cells, but inactive in healthy cells. Genes that are in active neighborhoods in diseased cells are likely to contribute to disease, and can potentially be targeted with drug treatments.

In order to find genetic neighborhoods that are active in asthmatic disease, the scientists in Vijayanand's group focus their experiments on memory cells, which develop abnormally in asthma patients. Memory cells are responsible for quickly responding to foreign substances called antigens that the host has been exposed to previously. Air passage inflammation, which characterizes asthma, is mediated by an overactive response to inhaled antigens by memory cells.

By applying his technique in small populations of abnormal memory cells, Vijayanand highlights 33 genetic neighborhoods that are highly active in diseased cells, but inactive in healthy cells, shifting the focus of asthma research to specific genes that are located in these neighborhoods.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that are less precise, have previously identified 1,500 potential target regions associated with asthmatic disease. According to Vijayanand, these targets are too numerous to study individually, and as a result, the field has remained focused on just a few molecules for discovery of new asthma treatments. Using their approach, Vijayanand's team searched the 1,500 targets for those that have the greatest likelihood of contributing to asthmatic disease. "Our unbiased and hypothesis-free approach has revealed a staggering but manageable number of new molecules that could play a role in asthma, and thus are potentially novel therapeutic targets," said Vijayanand.

Vijayanand and his team completed the study using different amounts of cells from the blood of healthy individuals and asthmatic patients. They did so in order to determine the smallest number of cells that were required for their technique, and found that it works with as little as 10,000 cells, which is significantly less than the millions of cells required to use other methods. Vijayanand envisions using this technique in situations where access to cells is limited, such as tumor biopsy for cancer.

The frequency of asthma is rising across the developed world as well as in several large developing countries. Treatment for asthma usually includes long-term nonspecific medication, as there is no cure at present.

Vijayanand says this study provides information that can be the starting point for many avenues of research and treatment. He says, "our study provides a rich and comprehensive resource that will be useful to the scientific community, enabling investigators to conduct their own detailed studies of the functional significance of the novel genes and enhancers that we have identified."


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Moyer
dmoyer@liai.org
858-752-6535
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. KAIST develops TransWall, a transparent touchable display wall
2. Exploring how the nervous system develops
3. InventHelp Inventor Develops Physical-Therapy Equipment (LAX-452)
4. Inventor and InventHelp Client Develops Convenient Foot-Care Accessory (HLW-1194)
5. InventHelp Inventor Develops Infant Urine Collection Device (OCM-592)
6. InventHelp Inventor Develops Hemorrhoid Relief Kit (HTM-3000)
7. Inventors from InventHelp Develops Improved Hot/Cold Pack (AUP-327)
8. InventHelp Inventor Develops Blood-Pressure Testing Accessory (LAX-437)
9. Inventor and InventHelp Client Develops Inconspicuous Hearing Aids (FED-1269)
10. InventHelp Inventor Develops Improved Wheelchair (CBA-2287)
11. InventHelp Inventor Develops Alternative to Steps (BGF-683)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now ... and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings ... The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are ... many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) ... will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research ... anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business ... to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the ... minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) today ... allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health care ... coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing need ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of product ... a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing HCEI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: