Ten lupus linked genes identified by Indian-American scientist led teamJanuary 27, 2016 10:08
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Indian-American scientist led international team has identified 10 new genes linked up with lupus, the autoimmune disease. Lupus is a debilitating condition where the immune system of the body turns unbalanced and tries to attack its own tissues.
Swapan Nath is a scientist with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). He along with his colleagues carried out a study to analyze over 17,000 human DNA samples gathered from the blood from volunteers belonging to four countries including China, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan. Approximately 4,500 samples, have served as confirmed lupus cases, while the remaining served as healthy controls.
According to Nath, "We know lupus has a strong genetic basis but in order to better treat the disease, we have to identify those genes."
The analysis revealed that 10 distinct DNA sequence variants are linked to lupus, which affects nearly five million people globally as per the Lupus Foundation of America. Particularly, One gene known as GTF2I, showed high likelihood of developing the disease.
OMRF's Autoimmune Disease Institute director Judith James said, "These findings mark a significant advance in our knowledge base for lupus genes,"
"For every gene we identify, it brings us closer to uncovering the trigger for this puzzling disease. It's good news for researchers and patients alike," he added.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Genetics, Nath noted that, "Its genetic effect appears to be higher than previously known lupus genes discovered from Asians, and we surmise that it now may be the predominant gene involved in lupus."