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Åsa Torinsson Naluai research group

Molecular mechanisms involved in chronic inflammation

The aim of our work is to identify genes and biomarkers in the early phase of an autoimmune disease. Two large family cohorts represent the base, one cohort with psoriasis (350 families) and one with celiac disease (CD) (325 families). We are also collecting tissue biopsies for RNA analysis of gene expression. Psoriasis and CD are two of the most common chronic diseases in the western world, with a prevalence of about two percent for psoriasis and one to three percent for CD. Furthermore, about 70% of Swedish children affected with CD remain undiagnosed, which lead to individual suffering as well as a huge economic burden for society in treating these individuals against associated symptoms and diseases.

2007 was the year of Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). More genetic risk factors for common diseases were identified in this one year than had been collectively reported before 2007. This new methodology is used to analyze over one million genetic variants, each consisting of changes in the DNA sequence, so called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or copy number variants (CNVs). We work with this technology and have completed a GWAS in 100 of our Swedish CD families. The results both confirm previous findings and point to completely new pathways involved in CD. We are also part of the European Psoriasis Genetics Consortium where we have performed a large GWAS including a joint replication (published in Nature Genetics 2010).

Genes and pathways identified through our GWAS are implicated in inflammation and cancer as well as metabolic and cardiovascular disease. Also, many of the previously identified genes in CD have since been replicated in other autoimmune diseases (type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ulcerative colitis as well as psoriasis). Finding new genes and recognizing how they work in CD and psoriasis can lead to a better understanding of these other common diseases and to the identification of novel targets for therapy and treatment of these diseases.

Group members

Åsa Torinsson Naluai (PhD, group leader, Assoc. Prof.)
Caroline Montén (MS, PhD student),
Lena Samuelsson (PhD, geneticist)

Co-workers at the Dept of Mathematical sciences, Chalmers:
Assoc. Prof. Staffan Nilsson

Co-workers at the Queen Silvia’s Childrens hospital:
Dr Audur Gudjonsdottir,
at Skåne Universitetssjukhus, Malmö:
Assoc. Prof. Daniel Agardh
at Astrid Lindgrens Barnsjukhus, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm:
Dr Henrik Arnell
at Sachsska Barnsjukhuset, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm:
Dr Lars Browaldh

Sidansvarig: Dan Baeckström|Sidan uppdaterades: 2011-11-10

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