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New Method To Identify Mutated Genes In Human Diseases

Date:
March 30, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new method may help the medical community to determine the genetic basis of many common diseases. Thousands of human diseases originate from mutations in one or more genes. Identification of mutated genes is a crucial first step towards understanding the molecular mechanisms at the origin of diseases and devising a treatment. In many cases, we do not know the identity of the affected gene, only a chromosomal region (typically containing hundred of genes) in which the mutation is located.

Researchers from the University of Turin, Italy and the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, have devised a new method that may help the medical community to determine the genetic basis of many common diseases.

Thousands of human diseases originate from mutations in one or more genes. Identification of mutated genes is a crucial first step towards understanding the molecular mechanisms at the origin of diseases and devising a treatment. In many cases, we do not know the identity of the affected gene, only a chromosomal region (typically containing hundred of genes) in which the mutation is located.

The research group, led by Ferdinando Di Cunto and Paolo Provero, analyzed gene expression data (patterns of gene activity in tissues and cell lines) from thousands of published experiments to identify genes showing patterns comparable to the ones of mutated genes in similar diseases. The study identified candidate genes for 81 diseases, including various forms of epilepsy and muscular dystrophy

As in all such analyses, the results must be verified experimentally. However, the task of understanding the molecular basis of many diseases could be significantly simplified by the results of this work.

Journal reference: Ala U, Piro RM, Grassi E, Damasco C, Silengo L, et al. (2008) Prediction of Human Disease Genes by Human-Mouse Conserved Coexpression Analysis. PLoS Comput Biol 4(3): e1000043. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000043


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The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Public Library of Science. "New Method To Identify Mutated Genes In Human Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080328070143.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, March 30). New Method To Identify Mutated Genes In Human Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080328070143.htm
Public Library of Science. "New Method To Identify Mutated Genes In Human Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080328070143.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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