Inheriting Crohn's Disease

Crohns genes identified for more personalized treatment

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Crohn's Disease is not a desirable family inheritance. But the genes that your family passes down to you could predispose you to developing the chronic health condition.

Identifying and understanding the genes that underlie Crohn's could help create more personalized treatment. A new study has mapped out three regions of genes that could provide clues to how the disease is inherited and how it can be treated.

"Research is making headway in more personalized treatment for Crohn's."

Researchers from the University College London published their findings in The Journal of Human Genetics. Dr. Nikolas Maniatis, of the UCL Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, said that the paper shows how personalized medicine could work for different types of Crohn's disease.

Scientists have known that Crohn's Disease is caused by both environmental and hereditary factors. Studies have shown high heritability for the disease, ranging between 50 to 60 percent of cases. But they have had trouble identifying the genes associated with Crohn's.

The researchers used data from Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), which provided genetic information for 1698 CD patients. The findings were repeated using data from the American National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) with 813 patients.

They used a mapping technique to examine segments of DNA passed down in stretches through generations, meaning the DNA code stayed intact from generation to generation. The scientists located what they call “faulty genes” associated with Crohn's.

They fingered chromosome 16, which has been known as home to NOD2, a gene associated with Crohn's. They found three novel genes, called CYLD, IRF8 and CDH1/CDH3. All of these are involved with inflammation and immune deregulation, the hallmarks of Crohn's.

These genes may have caused Crohn's in patients who were not found to have NOD2, giving insight into their disease.

Dr. Maniatis said that knowledge about each patient's genetic connection to Crohn's can help provide more personalized treatment for their condition. 

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Review Date: 
December 11, 2011
Last Updated:
December 22, 2011