Rat survey may help identify human disease genes

Apr 29, 2008
Rat survey may help identify human disease genes
Almost all human genes known to be associated with diseases have counterparts in the rat genome.

A survey of genetic variation in laboratory rats which may help identify human disease genes is published this week in Nature Genetics.

A consortium of European laboratories, including Professor Dominique Gauguier at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, has published a survey of genetic variation in the laboratory rat.

This survey is based on three million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and represents a solid foundation for disease gene discovery in rats and for translating research findings to patient care.

Areas in which rat models have already helped to advance medical research include: cardiovascular diseases (hypertension); psychiatric disorders (studies of behavioral intervention and addiction); neural regeneration; diabetes; surgery; transplantation; autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis); cancer; wound and bone healing; and space motion sickness.

When the complete rat genome was sequenced in 2004, it was confirmed that almost all human genes known to be associated with diseases have counterparts in the rat genome, confirming that the rat is an excellent model for many areas of medical research.

The discovery of over three million SNPs in the rat genome and the characterization of genetic polymorphism for 20,000 of them provide crucial resources for identifying genes underlying complex traits relevant to human disorders.

This research is published in a special issue of Nature Genetics along with a community view on rat genetics and other papers reporting findings linking rat genomic studies to human genetics. This demonstrates the importance of rat genetic and genomic research in modern biomedical genetics.

Source: University of Oxford

Explore further: New strategy for mapping regulatory networks associated with multi-gene diseases

Related Stories

United States, China team explore energy harvesting

4 hours ago

Six authors have described their work in harvesting energy in a paper titled "Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording." ...

China's struggle for water security

6 hours ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

6 hours ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

Recommended for you

Systematic interaction network filtering in biobanks

10 hours ago

While seeking targets to attack Huntington's disease, an incurable inherited neurodegenerative disorder, neurobiologists of the research group led by Professor Erich Wanker of the Max Delbrück Center for ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.