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article imageStudy identifies Eczema gene

By Tim Sandle     Nov 10, 2013 in Science
Genetic studies into eczema, carried out in mice, have found mutations in the filaggrin gene. Researchers think that this mutation leads to defects in the skin's outer surface.
In addition to the filaggrin gene, researchers have now identified a second gene called MATT. The MATT gene encodes the transmembrane protein mattrin and whose variants are linked with eczema. The filaggrin gene has previously been linked to asthma.
This discovery came about after researchers compared thousands of people with eczema to those without, the researchers found that a single mutation in the human MATT gene was related to a small increased risk for the condition.
Eczema is a common skin problem that involves chronic inflammation and itching. Although creams can help to alleviate the condition, the actual causes have been unclear until recently. The lead researcher, Irwin McLean, the scientific director of the Center for Dermatology and Genetic Medicine at the University of Dundee, told the Irish Independent, that the genetic link could potentially lead to a new generation of treatments.
The findings have been published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The paper has the long title of "Tmem79/Matt is the matted mouse gene and is a predisposing gene for atopic dermatitis in human subjects."
More about eczema, Genes, Skin, Itch
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