Friday, 25 May 2018

You are here

Epigenetic Link in Rheumatoid Arthritis to Huntington's Disease

Researchers at University of California San Diego School and the Icahn School of Medicine have found a high-resolution epigenomic landscape of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that overlaps with that seen in Huntington's disease, suggesting potentially new unanticipated pathways that could be developed into therapeutic targets.

Their study, published in Nature Communications, presented a comprehensive epigenomic characterization of RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes and their epigenetic changes and found that epigenomically similar regions exist in RA cells that are associated with active enhancers and promoters and specific transcription factor binding motifs. Surprisingly these were similar to that seen in Huntington’s Disease, a fatal and incurable genetic brain disease. 

The investigators studied the epigenome using cells from RA joints to identifiy unique epigenetic changes. Analysis of chromatin, DNA methylation, RNA expression and histone modifications resulted in large amounts of data that were algorithmically managed to reduced the number of epigenetic combinations in the genes of patients with RA. The purpose of which was to new cell signaling pathways utilized in RA.

Epigenetics is the study of alterations in gene structure without necessarily changing the DNA sequence itself. Epigenetics have become increasingly important in understanding many disorders, as epigenetic changes can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, including aging, activity and lifestyle choices.

 

Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Add new comment

More Like This

Autoinflammatory Syndromes Show Dramatic Response to Canakinumab

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that the anti-interleukin (IL)-1β monoclonal antibody canakinumab (Ilaris) was effective in the treatment of three distinct autoinflammatory recurrent fever syndromes (FMF, TRAPS, HIDS) with responses that were far superior to what was seen with placebo on almost every outcome measure, a randomized study found.

Treat-to-Target a Bust with Rheumatologists

Treat-to-target strategy is widely advocated as an important means of optimizing treatment responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Even though T2T is encouraged by most guidelines, a current report shows that US Rheumatologists fail to implement T2T in their daily practice.

Mortality Predictors in Rheumatoid Arthritis

A population based study from southern Denmark finds excess mortality RF-positive males with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and that employment status and comorbidity were independent predictors of mortality.

Investigators stuided 509 RA patients between 1995 to 2002, of whom 200 (39%) died during 6079 person-years of follow-up.

Genetic Breakthrough in Systemic JIA

The identification of a genetic susceptibility locus for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) has important implications for treatment of this severe, poorly understood illness, researchers reported.

Tick, Mosquite-Borne Diseases Triple Since 2004

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a new report showing that from 2004 to 2016, the number of Americans infected by mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 27,388 in 2004, to 96,075 in 2016. 

From 2015 to 2016, these infections rose by 73 percent. This included new Zika and chikungunya virus infections, (41,680 in 2016), followed by Lyme disease (36,429 cases). This may be an underestimation as as many infections are not reported.