Researchers find gene interaction linked with MS risk

March 28, 2017
According to a new study, a person carrying variants of two particular genes could be almost three times more likely to develop multiple sclerosis. The discovery could open the way to the development of more accurate tests to identify those at greatest risk of MS.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Duke University Medical Center found that when two particular DNA variants in the DDX39B and IL7R genes are present in a person’s genetic code, their interaction can lead to an over production of a protein, sIL7R. That protein’s interactions with the body’s immune system plays an important, but not completely understood, role in MS. One of these variants is in IL7R, a gene previously associated with MS, and the other in DDX39B, a gene not previously connected to the disease.
The study’s authors said this information could allow the creation of tests that may provide earlier and more accurate diagnoses of multiple sclerosis, and uncover new avenues to expand the therapeutic toolkit to fight MS
The findings are published in the latest issue of Cell.

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