Study identifies genetic variation linked to lupus in Asian men

August 23, 2010

Genes reside along long chains of DNA called chromosomes. UCLA researchers have found that a variation in a gene on the sex chromosome X may enhance an immune response that leads to lupus in men.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women. Interestingly, researchers found that although the variation occurred in a gene on the X, or female, chromosome, its influence was stronger in men than in women. Humans hold two sex chromosomes — men have an X and Y, while women have two Xs. Previous studies have shown that genetic variations on the contribute to the development of lupus.

In this study, researchers found that certain common variations of within a specific X-linked gene triggered a stronger response in the immune system, increasing the risk of developing lupus, especially in men.

This study was part of an international effort to study the genetics of lupus in broader ethnic groups. Researchers genotyped 9,274 Eastern Asians individuals, including those with lupus and healthy controls. The stronger genetic effects were seen in men, compared with women, and especially in Chinese and Japanese men. Further study will look at other ethnicities.

Researchers say the finding will lead to greater understanding of the development of and to further exploration of the sex-specific genetic contributions of the disease, which could result in more targeted therapies.

The research appears in the Aug. 23 online edition of the journal (PNAS).

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists edit gene mutations in inherited form of anemia

October 26, 2016

A Yale-led research team used a new gene editing strategy to correct mutations that cause thalassemia, a form of anemia. Their gene editing technique provided corrections to the mutations and alleviated the disease in mice, ...

Maternal blood test may predict birth complications

October 24, 2016

A protein found in the blood of pregnant women could be used to develop tests to determine the health of their babies and aid decisions on early elective deliveries, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.