Precision Medicine Study of CVID Pinpoints Gene Crucial To Immune Defence


featured image Novel gene variants found in a difficult childhood immune disorder - healthinnovations

Genomics researchers analyzing a rare, serious immunodeficiency disease in children have discovered links to a gene crucial to the body’s defense against infections. The finding may represent an inviting target for drugs to treat common variable immunodeficiency (CVID).  The researchers found 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the 16p11.2 locus of chromosome 16. SNPs are changes in one letter of DNA, compared to the more typical sequence at a given location. Of particular interest, the study team found variants in the gene ITGAM, carrying codes for an integrin protein, which regulates cellular contact and adhesion.

The team explain that this association is of high biological relevance, because ITGAM plays an important role in normal immune responses.  Other researchers have shown that mice in which this gene has been knocked out have immune deficiencies.  The team add that the current study may have broader implications for patients who do not have these specific rare variants, because the integrin protein affects many important pathways in immune function.

A child with CVID has a low level of antibodies, reducing the body’s ability to fight disease, and leaving the child vulnerable to recurrent infections. CVID can first occur early or later in life, and the symptoms are highly variable. Frequent respiratory infections may lead to permanent lung damage. Patients may also suffer joint inflammation, stomach and bowel disorders, and a higher risk of cancers.

Read the Full Article on Health Innovations

 

 

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About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 4 May, 2015, in Blog, Research and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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