Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Researchers implicate two genes in development of AS

In what is being called a major genetic breakthrough, researchers have identified a relationship between two genes and the development of ankylosing spondylitis. Their research was published in Nature: Genetics today. From the media release: "The researchers have identified two genes, ARTS1 and IL23R, which increase the risk of developing the disease. Together with the genetic variant HLA-B27, this takes the number of genes definitely known to be involved in the disease to three. A person carrying all three variants would be expected to have a one in four chance of developing the disease."

But wait, there's more. The IL23R gene has already been implicated in Crohn's disease, which we already knew was closely related to AS. From the media release again, quoting Queensland University professor Matthew Brown: "'We already know that IL23R is involved in inflammation, but no one had ever thought it was involved in ankylosing spondylitis,' says Professor Brown. 'A treatment for Crohn's disease that inhibits the activity of this gene is already undergoing human trials. This looks very promising as a potential treatment for ankylosing spondylitis.'" So already there are therapeutic implications: interesting.

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