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MYH9 gene variations help explain high rate of kidney disease in African-Americans
Date:10/30/2008

four percent of European Americans.

At the press briefing, Dr. Parekh will introduce a panel of researchers at the forefront of ongoing research on MYH9. The speakers will share their perspectives on the discoveries so far, key areas for further study, and the implications for risk screening and efforts to reduce kidney disease in the African-American population.

Cheryl Winkler, PhD, of NIH will summarize key findings on the link between MYH9 and FSGS, including the methods and concepts that led to the discoveries. New studies by Dr. Winkler, along with Jeffrey Kopp, MD, and other NIH researchers, suggest that MYH9 explains most of the racial difference in FSGS risk (F-FC254). Research by Dr. Kopp and Dr. Winkler will also be presented as part of a free communications session entitled, "Gene Mapping in Common Kidney Diseases" on Friday, November 7, from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in Room 104 of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Dr. Winkler will also discuss new research on the geographic distribution of the MYH9 risk alleles (TH-PO107). Rates of highest-risk gene variant appear highest in populations from southern Africa; in contrast, the high-risk allele is infrequent in Europeans, and "rare to absent" in Asians. The findings suggest that selection of the high-risk MYH9 risk variants was an ancient event in human evolution (TH-PO109). Dr. Winkler will also present her research findings for poster numbers TH-PO107 and TH-PO109 on Thursday, November 6, from 10:00 a.m.-Noon in Hall A/B of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Linda Kao, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University will focus on the risk of non-diabetes-related ESRD related to MYH9 variants. Dr. Kao and Dr. Parekh were involved in the genome-wide study showing that the risk of nondiabetic ESRD is strongly related to higher African American ancestry on chromosome 22 (F-FC255). People with the MYH9 at-risk variants were at up to double the risk of having nondiabetic ESRD. In contrast, MY
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Contact: Shari Leventhal
sleventhal@asn-online.org
American Society of Nephrology
Source:Eurekalert

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