New Candidate Gene Identified in the Development of MS

In their March 23rd Cell publication, DMPI faculty member Dr. Simon Gregory and colleagues describe the identification of DDX39B as a new candidate gene in the development of MS, and detail the epistatic interaction of DDX39B with IL7R in both genetic and functional contexts.

Multiple sclerosis happens when the immune system attacks the central nervous system, resulting in a host of neurological issues. The researchers found that when both DDX39B and IL7R are present in a person’s genetic code, the interaction can lead to an over-production of a protein called sIL7R. That protein’s interactions with the body’s immune system plays an important, but not completely understood, role in MS.

These findings can potentially provide earlier and more accurate diagnosis of MS and other autoimmune disorders as well as therapeutic advancements.