Genetic Overlapping in IBD, Other Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Potential For Common Therapies

Genetic Overlapping in IBD, Other Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Potential For Common Therapies
A team of scientists led by Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Center for Applied Genomics in a major meta-analysis of the genes involved in 10 autoimmune diseases that begin in childhood, have discovered 22 genome-wide signals shared by two or more of these diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis that collectively affect 7 to 10 percent of the population in the Western Hemisphere, respectively. These shared gene sites may be key to revealing potential new targets for treating many of these diseases, in some instances with existing drugs already available for non-autoimmune disorders. "Our approach did more than finding genetic associations among a group of diseases, says study leader Dr. Hakonarson."We identified genes with a biological relevance to these diseases, acting along gene networks and pathways that may offer very useful targets for therapy." Study results published in the journal Nature August 24, entitled "Meta-analysis of shared genetic architecture across ten pediatric autoimmune diseases" (Nature Medicine (2015) dpi:10.1038/nm.3933) are coauthored by an international, multi-institutional team of investigators, who observe that genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of susceptibility genes, including shared associations across clinically distinct autoimmune diseases. The scientists describe how they performed an inverse meta-analysis across ten pediatric-age-of-onset autoimmune diseases (pAIDs) in a case-control study including more than 6,035 cases and 10,718 shared population-based controls, all of European ancestry. The study's lead analyst, Yun (Rose) Li, an MD/PhD graduate student at the
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