New IBD genes identified

Two new genes have been identified that could increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in childhood, say US researchers.

The researchers performed a genome-wide association study searching for genetic variations in DNA samples from 1,000 patients with childhood-onset IBD and compared the findings with DNA samples from 4,250 healthy participants.

Two novel genes, one on chromosome 20 and the other on chromosome 21, were identified.

The researchers, from The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, believe that the TNFRSF6B gene on chromosome 20 could provide a compelling target for drug development as it is known to participate in the pathway of tumour necrosis factor (TNF), which plays a key role in the harmful inflammation caused by IBD.

Nature Genetics Online 2008

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