Several Genes that Regulate the Disease SLE have been Identified
News Jan 28, 2008
Uppsala researchers, in collaboration with foreign colleagues, have identified a number of new genes that can be tied to the disease SLE, including a gene that hopefully might be used to treat the disease in the future by regulating the production of antibodies. These findings are being published in three articles in the new issue of the journal Nature Genetics.
SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a so-called autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune defense system attacks the body. SLE primarily affects young women and can lead to severe kidney failure, blood clots, and miscarriages, among other things.
A research team at Uppsala University directed by Associate Professor Marta E. Alarcon-Requelme has identified a new gene, BANK1, that is important to our understanding of how SLE arises and that may also come to be of significance for treatment. The gene affects the body’s B cells, which in turn produce the auto-antibodies that attack the body.
“The new treatments of SLE that have been developed primarily target the elimination of B cells. With the help of the gene we have now identified, in the future it may be possible to regulate the functions of B cells,” says Marta E. Alarcon-Requelme.
Moreover, her research team, working together with American and British colleagues, has performed a complete scan of the genome of 1,800 European and American SLE patients and thereby managed to identify a number of other genes that regulate the disease.
All of these findings are now being published in three separate articles in the February issue of the scientific journal Nature Genetics and are already available in the Web version of the journal.
Researchers Discover Mutation That Appears to Protect Against Multiple Aspects of Biological AgingNews
The first genetic mutation that appears to protect against multiple aspects of biological aging in humans has been discovered in an extended family of Old Order Amish living in the vicinity of Berne, Indiana, report Northwestern Medicine scientists.READ MORE
Defects in Cell’s ‘Waste Disposal System’ Linked to Parkinson’sNews
An international study has shed new light on the genetic factors associated with Parkinson’s disease, pointing at a group of lysosomal storage disorder genes as potential major contributors to the onset and progression of this common neurodegenerative disorder.READ MORE
Mouse Model Demonstrates Potential of New Autism DrugNews
Scientists have performed a successful test of a possible new drug in a mouse model of an autism disorder. The candidate drug, largely corrected electrical, behavioral and brain abnormalities in the mice.READ MORE