Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes In The Interferon System Important In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Date:
January 26, 2005
Source:
Swedish Research Council
Summary:
Two genes with very strong associations with the disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been identified by a team of scientists headed by researchers at the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University.

January 19, 2005 -- Two genes with very strong associations with the disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been identified by a team of scientists headed by researchers at the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University. The findings are being published today on the Web page of the highly prestigious American Journal of Human Genetics.

"These findings are probably the first genetic pieces of a huge 'interferon puzzle,' with whose help it will be possible to discover the mechanisms behind the disease SLE, and maybe other autoimmune diseases at the molecular level," says Professor Lars Rönnblom.

"It is remarkable that by studying only eleven of the some 200 genes that are seen as belonging to the interferon system, we were able to identify two genes with such clear connection to SLE," says Professor Ann-Christine Syvänen.

A few years ago Lars Rönnblom and Professor Gunnar Alm at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences were virtually the only researchers who claimed that the interferon system, which is involved in the body's defense against viruses, etc., was also behind the autoimmune disease SLE. Since then they have shown the importance of the interferon system in a number of works. This has led to the recognition of their hypothesis in the last year, and today it represents a white-hot field of research that has attracted a great deal of interest in the pharmaceutical industry. This picture has now been further reinforced by new findings­ - the result of multidisciplinary and international collaboration involving world experts on the interferon system, immunology, and the disease SLE, combined with world leaders in the technology for large-scale genetic analyses and statistics. The genetic and statistical analyses were performed by the doctoral student Snaevar Sigurdsson and Professor Ann-Christine Syvänen at the Center for Clinical Medical Research at Uppsala University.

The study, comprising nearly 2,000 individuals, shows that two genes in the interferon system are very strongly associated with the disease SLE. One of the genes codes for a so-called thyrosinkinase enzyme, whose function is to convey signals from interferon outside the cells to the cell nucleus.

"We found that genetic variants of thyrosinkase protect against SLE. It probably has an inhibited function that blocks the interferon effect. It is therefore possible to imagine the development of methods of treatment for SLE based on blocking the function of the thyrosinkinase enzyme," explains Lars Rönnblom.

The other gene codes for a transcription factor, which also plays an important role in regulating the interferon effect. Further functional analyses will be necessary to map the molecular mechanisms in detail.

Besides the Rheumatology Clinic at Uppsala Akademiska Hospital, hospitals in Umeå and Lund, in Sweden, and several hospitals in Finland as well as one hospital in Reykjavik provided the project with DNA samples and diagnostic information from SLE patients.

###

SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a disease of the rheumatic system that primarily affects fertile women. There are some 5,000 patients in Sweden, and among them most organs can become inflamed. The cause is the reaction of the body's own immune system against the patient's own tissue, and SLE is seen as a prototype for so-called autoimmune disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swedish Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Swedish Research Council. "Genes In The Interferon System Important In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050125082936.htm>.
Swedish Research Council. (2005, January 26). Genes In The Interferon System Important In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050125082936.htm
Swedish Research Council. "Genes In The Interferon System Important In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050125082936.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) — A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins