facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Scientists identify gene tied to lupus

March 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, March 30 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists participating in an international study say they've identified a gene linked to lupus that may explain gender differences in disease risk.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers said the identification of the gene, IRAKi, and its location on the X chromosome might help explain why females are 10 times more susceptible to the disease than are males.

The findings might also have therapeutic implications, said Dr. Chandra Mohan, a professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study.

"Our work also shows that blocking IRAK1 action shuts down lupus in an animal model," said Mohan. "Though many genes may be involved in lupus, we only have very limited information on them."

Locating IRAK1 on the X chromosome also represents a breakthrough in explaining why lupus seems to be gender-linked, Mohan said, noting that for decades, researchers focused on hormonal differences between males and females as a cause of the difference.

The multicenter study involved 759 people who developed lupus as children, 5,337 patients who developed it as adults and 5,317 healthy controls. Each group comprised four ethnicities: European-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.

The study appears in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Harvard scientist startled by giant bird-eating spider on rainforest walk Harvard scientist startled by giant bird-eating spider on rainforest walk
2
Soda drinkers may be slowly killing themselves Soda drinkers may be slowly killing themselves
3
Peaking Orionid meteor shower to be obscured by nor'easter Peaking Orionid meteor shower to be obscured by nor'easter
4
Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open
5
Three Mars probes hide behind planet, avoid comet debris Three Mars probes hide behind planet, avoid comet debris
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback