Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Sequencing Identifies Gene Variant Responsible for Lupus

Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Research demonstrates it is feasible to identify the individual causes of lupus in patients by using DNA sequencing, allowing doctors to target specific treatments to individual patients.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects one in 700 Australians, predominantly young and middle aged women.

Medical researchers at the Centre for Personalised Immunology, based at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), sequenced the genes of a young girl who suffered a stroke when she was four as a result of her lupus.

“We can now target her specific disease, and make treatments that will benefit her throughout her life,” said lead researcher Dr Julia Ellyard, from the JCSMR.

Researchers identified a variant in the TREX1 gene. This mutation caused the patient’s cells to produce a molecule called interferon-alpha. Clinical trials are already underway for drugs to target interferon-alpha in adults.

Dr Jeff Chaitow, head of rheumatology,  a co-investigator and the patient’s treating clinician at Sydney’s The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, said his young patient, now 10 years old, still needs regular steroids and immune suppressive drugs each day.

“New targeted therapy would be a major benefit in controlling her disease,” he said.

Professor Carola Vinuesa, Co-director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, said research was showing lupus was primarily caused by defects in only one or a few genes.

“This is the new age of personalised medicine,” she said.

“This study shows that it is possible to unravel the detailed and individual genetic causes of lupus in individuals.

“Lupus is a heterogeneous disease and patients can experience a number of different symptoms. We believe that there are different genetic causes of lupus. Understanding these defective genes and pathways in each individual will help tailor treatments.”

Professor Matthew Cook, Co-director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, said the results proved the potential benefits of personalised medicine, where doctors will be able to target treatments to individual patients.

“We are optimistic that this represents proof of principle for a new approach to diagnosis and treatment of a range of complex immunological disease,” Professor Cook said.

Results of the research are published in Arthritis and Rheumatology

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Farming’s in Their DNA
Ancient genomes reveal natural selection in action.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Enzyme Critical to Maintaining Telomere Length Discovered
New method expected to speed understanding of short telomere diseases and cancer.
Gene Drive Reversibility Introduces New Layer of Biosafety
Ability to introduce or reverse the spread of genetic traits through populations could one day improve pest management and disease control.
RNA-Based Drugs Give More Control Over Gene Editing
CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique can be transiently activated and inactivated using RNA-based drugs, giving researchers more precise control in correcting and inactivating genes.
University of Glasgow Researchers Make An Impact in 60 Seconds
Early-career researchers were invited to submit an engaging, dynamic and compelling 60 second video illuminating an aspect of their research.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos