Clarifying Genetic Predisposition to Lupus
Genetic risk factors are known to be a major contributor for developing lupus. The complement system, a biochemical cascade found in blood circulation that participates in the immune system to help clear disease-causing bacteria, plays a pivotal role in lupus.
In the first year funded by ANRF, Dr. Zhao reported that a genetic variant, the deletion of two complement regulatory genes (CFHR1 and CFHR3), were more frequently found in lupus patients than in healthy people, indicating that genetic deficiency of these two genes predisposes to lupus. In the second year, Dr. Zhao will investigate the functional consequence of the deletion of CFHR1 and CFHR3 in lupus patients.
The studies into the role of these genes in the disease progression of lupus may lead to the development new therapies in the future.