Researchers have discovered a gene that seems to influence susceptibility to asthma. Furthermore, the CYFIP2 protein produced by the gene could serve as a target for new asthma drugs, according to a study reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (July 15, 2005).
In an earlier study, the researchers connected mapped areas on chromosome 5 in patients with allergic asthma. For the current study, the researchers took the evidence a step beyond by identifying a gene in this region that influences asthma vulnerability. The investigators performed genetic screening in 155 families with asthma. The results showed 6 DNA changes that affect the development of asthma. These mutations were found in a gene for CYFIP2. Further examination suggested that CYFIP2 impacts the risk of asthma by affecting the function of T cells. The investigators said that more testing is needed to explain how changes in these cells may promote asthma.
One study linked multiple pregnancies to an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, and another investigated the association between premature delivery and cardiovascular disease.
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