Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A new light shed on genetic regulation's role in the predisposition to common diseases

Date:
September 2, 2012
Source:
Université de Genève
Summary:
Scientists have discovered several thousands new genetic variants impacting gene expression some of which are responsible for predisposition to common diseases, bringing closer to the biological interpretation of personal genomes.

Genetic disease risk differences between one individual and another are based on complex aetiology. Indeed, they may reflect differences in the genes themselves, or else differences at the heart of the regions involved in the regulation of these same genes.

Related Articles


By gene regulation we mean the decision that the cell makes as to when, where and at what level to activate or suppress the expression of a gene. In theory, two people could thus share a gene that is perfectly identical and yet show differences in their predisposition to a disease due to genetic differences concerning the regulation (overexpression or underexpression) of this same gene.

Numerous teams are currently trying to draw up a map of regions involved in gene regulation. Not an easy task, but invaluable since it allows us to understand all the genetic causes that can explain the predisposition to certain diseases.

Working with twins

Emmanouil Dermitzakis, Louis-Jeantet Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and member of the NCCR Frontiers in Genetics and the Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva (IGE3), is a specialist in what is called the genetics of complex traits. With an international team co-led by Professor Tim Spector (Kings College), Professor Mark McCarthy (Oxford University) and Dr. Panos Deloukas (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), he publishes a study highlighting thousands of these genetic variants that seem to explain individual differences in gene expression.

For this work, the researchers used samples of three different tissue types (adipose tissue, skin and blood cells) collected from more than 800 homozygotic (identical) and dizygotic twins.

"Identifying variants which control the activity of many genes is a greater challenge than we anticipated but we are developing appropriate tools to uncover them and understand their contribution to disease," comments Panos Deloukas. "Modern human genetics combined with samples donated by the participants in studies such as TwinsUK is making great strides towards finding the genetic culprits behind human disease."

The method researchers followed allowed them to uncover nearly 358 variants apparently involved in the predisposition to certain diseases including quantifying the contribution of rare regulatory variants that was previously not possible to identify by conventional analysis methods.

"Our work adds to those who have previously demonstrated the contribution of common variants in the predisposition to these disorders," explains Emmanouil Dermitzakis. "Thanks to this new level of knowledge, and if we manage to adapt this methodology to search for these variants in each individual, this will be a powerful tool to help prognose the predisposition to certain diseases and more importantly understand the biological aetiology in order to develop and employ individualized treatments."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université de Genève. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Université de Genève. "A new light shed on genetic regulation's role in the predisposition to common diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120902143232.htm>.
Université de Genève. (2012, September 2). A new light shed on genetic regulation's role in the predisposition to common diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120902143232.htm
Université de Genève. "A new light shed on genetic regulation's role in the predisposition to common diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120902143232.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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