Genes behind common skin disease psorasis uncovered

January 26th, 2009 - 6:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 26 (ANI): Scientists in Singapore and China have identified genes that play an important role in the development of psoriasis, a common chronic skin disease.

In three independent studies, researchers at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and the Anhui Medical University, China, examined genetic variants in the human genomes of a large cohort of patients with psorasis and healthy controls in the Chinese population.

The results of the study, led by GIS Human Genetics Group Leader and Associate Prof. Liu Jianjun, indicated that a genetic variant within what is known as the LCE gene cluster could provide protection against the development of psoriasis.

One of the LCE genes” functions is to code proteins that are part of cells located in the outermost layers of skin. These proteins are important for maintaining skin’’s barrier function.

“Together with the findings from the other two studies, our finding suggests that compromised skin barrier function play a role in the development of psoriasis. This is a very important find, as it advances our understanding of the genetic basis of psoriasis, which in turn is important for early diagnosis and prediction of an individual’’s risk to the disease,” said Liu.

The researchers focused on a Chinese population, the other two studies were conducted on Western populations.

Liu added: “Our team’’s work is also important because it is the first study ever done on a Chinese population all other studies on psoriasis so far have focused on western populations.”

Psoriasis is a common chronic, auto-immune and hyper-proliferative skin disease, usually characterized by red scaly patches on the skin.

All three independent studies will be published in the journal Nature Genetics. (ANI)

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