FAMIN or feast? Newly discovered mechanism influences how immune cells ‘eat’ invaders

Organisms -Health Council

“A new mechanism that affects how our immune cells perform — and hence their ability to prevent disease — has been discovered by an international team of researchers led by Cambridge scientists.To date, researchers have identified hundreds of genetic variants that increase or decrease the risk of developing diseases from cancer and diabetes to tuberculosis and mental health disorders. However, for the majority of such genes, scientists do not yet know how the variants contribute to disease — indeed, scientists do not even understand how many of the genes function.”

“One such gene is C13orf31, found on chromosome 13. Scientists have previously shown that variants of the gene in which a single nucleotide — the A, C, G and T of DNA — differs are associated with risk for the infectious disease leprosy, and for the chronic inflammatory diseases Crohn’s disease and a form of childhood arthritis known as systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.”

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