Examine identifies extra genes which can be seemingly behind psoriasis and eczema
Nail with the characteristic pitting in psoriasis. Photo credit: Seenms / CC BY-SA 3.0
A Swedish study identified 17 new genes that could be used to treat psoriasis and eczema, two common hereditary skin conditions with no cure.
Pelin Sahlén, a lecturer at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says the combined research team at KTH-Karolinska Institutet mapped 118 gene targets related to skin conditions, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis using a method the researcher developed 10 years ago to identify the Map interactions between genetic information in different parts of the body.
The research focused on the role of non-coding genetic variants, that is, DNA that does not contain instructions for making proteins. About 2 percent of DNA is made up of protein-coding genes, and the remaining 98 percent are non-coding.
Most of the variants (97%) associated with complex diseases are non-coding, says Sahlén. “Identifying which gene you regulate is not an easy task.”
They examined the three-dimensional genome for interactions between gene regulatory sequences known as promoters and enhancers and determined which genes are active in different tissues.
These sequences can be found either before or after the gene they regulate on a strand of DNA. “They are often far from the genes that regulate them,” says Sahlén. “The Capture Hi-C (HiCap) method allows us to link the distal gene regulatory sequences to genes by examining the three-dimensional structure of the skin genome. This means that we can map the regulatory gene network to find new genes that are linked Diseases and Biological Processes. “
Sahlén first published the (HiCap) method in 2015. The method aims to understand the contribution of the non-coding genome to the well-being, survival and health of an organism, she says.
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Pelin Sahlén et al. Chromatin Interactions in Keratinocyte Differentiation Reveal Novel Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis-Associated Genes, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2020). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jaci.2020.09.035 Provided by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology
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