How Targeting Metabolism Can Defeat Cancer Stem Cells
July 20, 2018
Surgeons Have Substantial Impact on Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer Patients Who Need It
July 23, 2018
Show all

Researchers Discover How Key Genetic Risk Factor for MS Operates

Gaining a deeper understanding of genetic risk factors for multiple sclerosis.

Scientists have uncovered the molecular mechanism by which the genetic variant HLA-DRB1*15:01 is the strongest risk factor for multiple sclerosis, new research shows.

Analyzing several studies, researchers found that the risk linked with HLA-DRB1variants is due to a specific DNA modification called methylation. Methylation is a process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule; it can change the activity of DNA, but not its sequence.

DNA methylation in some HLA-DRB1 variants may predispose or protect against the disease.

The discovery may help develop new therapeutic approaches to treat multiple sclerosis by tackling this molecular mechanism.

The findings were published in the study “DNA methylation as a mediator of HLA-DRB1*15:01 and a protective variant in multiple sclerosis” in the journal Nature Communications.

Variations in genes belonging to the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex have been known for more than 40 years to influence people’s susceptibility for multiple sclerosis. A variation in one such gene —  HLA-DRB1*15:01 — is the strongest genetic risk factor known for the disease.

Together with other HLA genes, HLA-DRB1 codes information essential for the immune system to be able to distinguish the body’s own molecules from foreign molecules produced, for instance, by viruses and bacteria.

Read on: Researchers Discover How Key Genetic Risk Factor for MS Operates

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

Comments are closed.