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GEN News Highlights : Dec 14, 2006

Celera Identifies Two Psoriasis-Associated Genetic Variations

IL12B and IL23R genes are involved.

Celera discoverd that variants in two genes, IL12B and IL23R, involved in regulating the behavior of cells of the immune system, independently contribute to psoriasis risk. Individuals who carry two copies of the risk alleles for both these genes, which occur in approximately 25% of Caucasians, were found to have a three-fold increased risk for psoriasis relative to individuals with certain other genotypes of these genes.

“The identification of these two psoriasis susceptibility genes provides additional justification for targeting these pathways with new therapeutics for psoriasis and suggests that IL-23 may be the relevant cytokine,” says Gerald G. Krueger, M.D., professor of dermatology and Benning Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and co-author on this publication.

“Further studies should help determine whether any of the identified risk alleles are also associated with response to therapy and could help determine the most effective dosage of new monoclonal antibody therapies currently in clinical trials.”

The study is published online at the American Journal of Human Genetics and will appear in the February 2007 print edition.