One Link Found, Many to Go; The Rat's Now in the Ring; Red River for a Red Planet

One Link Found, Many To Go Researchers at the UK's Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR) and Merck & Co. reported a link between cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and autoimmunity (H. Ueda et al., "Association of the T-cell regulatory gene CTLA4 with susceptibility to autoimmune disease," Nature, e-pub ahead of print, doi:10.1038/nature01621, April 30, 2003). The researchers used positional cloning to search a 330 kb region surrounding the CTLA4 gene for polymorp

Josh Roberts
May 18, 2003

One Link Found, Many To Go

Researchers at the UK's Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR) and Merck & Co. reported a link between cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and autoimmunity (H. Ueda et al., "Association of the T-cell regulatory gene CTLA4 with susceptibility to autoimmune disease," Nature, e-pub ahead of print, doi:10.1038/nature01621, April 30, 2003).

The researchers used positional cloning to search a 330 kb region surrounding the CTLA4 gene for polymorphisms linked to Graves disease, type 1 diabetes, and autoimmune hypothyroidism. The haplotype implicated in all three disorders affected not the amino acid sequence of CTLA-4, which is a negative immune regulator, but rather the relative amounts of mRNA isoforms. The researchers found that the nonobese diabetic mouse phenotype also correlates with an altered ratio of CTLA-4 splice variants. "It points the finger at a form of CTLA-4 that had been recognized before but hadn't been tied...

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