University of Manchester Researchers Identify Gene Behind Rheumatoid Arthritis
11/5/2007 12:46:41 AM
University of Manchester researchers have identified a genetic variant in a region on chromosome 6 that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common inflammatory arthritis affecting 387,000 people in the UK.
Professor Jane Worthington and her team at the Arthritis Research Campaign (arc) Epidemiology Unit at the University investigated 9 genetic regions identified earlier this year as potentially harbouring DNA variants determining susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. Association to one of the variants on chromosome 6 was unequivocally confirmed, reports this week’s Nature Genetics (4 November 2007). Although this variant is not located in a gene, Professor Worthington suggests that it may influence the behaviour of a nearby gene: tumour necrosis factor associated protein (TNFAIP3) as this is a gene that is known to be involved in inflammatory processes.