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Study identifies more genes that are likely behind psoriasis and eczema

Nail displaying the characteristic pitting of psoriasis.
Nail displaying the characteristic pitting of psoriasis. Photo: Seenms
Published Oct 28, 2020

A new study identified 17 new genes that could be targeted for treatment of psoriasis and eczema, two common hereditary skin diseases with no cure.

Pelin Sahlén, SciLifeLab researcher and senior lecturer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says that the combined KTH-Karolinska Institutet research team mapped 118 gene targets related to the skin conditions, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, using a method the researcher developed 10 years ago to map the interactions between genetic information in different parts of the body.

The investigation focused on the role played by non-coding genetic variants, that is, DNA that provides no instructions for creating proteins. About 2 percent of DNA is comprised on protein-coding genes, and the remaining 98 percent is non-coding.

Most of the variants (97%) associated with complex diseases are non-coding, Sahlén says. “It is not a straightforward task to determine the gene they regulate.”

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Last changed: Oct 28, 2020