Researchers develop new gene tool, shed light on lupus

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

March 15, 2021 -- A research team, including experts at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, has developed a massively parallel reporting assay (MPRA) that sheds light on lupus and possibly other conditions, according to a study published March 12 in Nature Communications.

The gene screening tool allows researchers to systematically screen the genome for allelic transcriptional enhancer activity from genome wide association studies. It can provide new discoveries about systemic lupus erythematosus that will be used to identify medications that would affect many lupus risk single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Each SNP increases risk by a modest amount, therefore, targeting many at the same time will likely have a higher value for patients.

The tool also offers scientists a faster way to evaluate gene variations for other types of diseases. The research team also has begun using the MPRA to further explore atopic dermatitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and multiple sclerosis.

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