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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2004 Dec;6(6):467-73.

Advances in the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease.

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University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 6084, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Research efforts in the inflammatory bowel diseases have been uniquely successful in identifying genetic linkage regions likely containing susceptibility genes for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In two of these regions, definitive gene associations have been established, namely for the NOD2/CARD15 gene on chromosome 16 (IBD1) and the OCTN1/SLC22A4-OCT/SLC22A5 genes on chromosome 5q (IBD5), both conferring increased risk for developing Crohn's disease. Recently, significant gene associations have been reported for additional genes, including DLG5, MDR1, and TLR4 as well. The NOD2/CARD15 gene mutations are associated with ileal disease location and a modestly earlier age of onset compared with NOD2/CARD15 wild-type Crohn's disease patients. Future progress in the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease will likely involve systematic phenotyping, including the incorporation of clinical subtypes and novel biomarkers. The ultimate goal of genetic research in inflammatory bowel disease is to identify the earliest biologic pathways that are altered, resulting in disease pathogenesis. Identification of these key pathways will potentially highlight novel therapeutic targets.

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