Study identifies genetic variation linked to lupus in Asian men

Aug 23, 2010

Genes reside along long chains of DNA called chromosomes. UCLA researchers have found that a variation in a gene on the sex chromosome X may enhance an immune response that leads to lupus in men.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women. Interestingly, researchers found that although the variation occurred in a gene on the X, or female, chromosome, its influence was stronger in men than in women. Humans hold two sex chromosomes — men have an X and Y, while women have two Xs. Previous studies have shown that genetic variations on the contribute to the development of lupus.

In this study, researchers found that certain common variations of within a specific X-linked gene triggered a stronger response in the immune system, increasing the risk of developing lupus, especially in men.

This study was part of an international effort to study the genetics of lupus in broader ethnic groups. Researchers genotyped 9,274 Eastern Asians individuals, including those with lupus and healthy controls. The stronger genetic effects were seen in men, compared with women, and especially in Chinese and Japanese men. Further study will look at other ethnicities.

Researchers say the finding will lead to greater understanding of the development of and to further exploration of the sex-specific genetic contributions of the disease, which could result in more targeted therapies.

The research appears in the Aug. 23 online edition of the journal (PNAS).

Explore further: New gene technique identifies previously hidden causes of brain malformation

Provided by University of California - Los Angeles

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lupus gene finding prompts call for more DNA samples

Dec 02, 2007

Wellcome Trust researchers have identified a key gene involved in the disease Lupus, which affects around 50,000 people in the UK, mostly women. The lead researcher behind the study has called for more patients to volunteer ...

Recommended for you

Gene therapy protects mice from heart condition

Aug 20, 2014

A new gene therapy developed by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has been shown to protect mice from a life-threatening heart condition caused by muscular dystrophy.

Study finds crucial step in DNA repair

Aug 18, 2014

Scientists at Washington State University have identified a crucial step in DNA repair that could lead to targeted gene therapy for hereditary diseases such as "children of the moon" and a common form of ...

User comments : 0