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Genes Immun. 2005 Dec;6(8):637-45.

Current status of genetics research in inflammatory bowel disease.

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University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven, Division of Gastroenterology-Herestraat, Leuven 49-3000, Belgium.


The research on genetic susceptibility of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has been tremendous and over 10 chromosomal regions have been identified by genome-wide scanning. Further fine mapping as well as candidate gene studies have already led to the identification of a number of susceptibility genes including CARD15, DLG5, OCTN1 and 2, NOD1, HLA, and TLR4. The CARD15 gene is undoubtedly replicated most widely and most understood at present. CARD15 is involved in the recognition of bacterial peptidoglycan-derived muramyl dipeptide (MDP) and will stimulate secretion of antimicrobial peptides including alpha-defensins (also called cryptdins) to protect the host from invasion. Genetic research in IBD has advanced our understanding of the clinical heterogeneity of the disease and has started to tackle the complex interactions between genetic risk factors and environmental risk factors in IBD. Genes also interfere with the metabolization of drugs and may influence the clinical response and the drug-related toxicity. Interesting pharmacogenetic data with respect to steroids, azathioprine, and infliximab have been generated in IBD. Overall, it is anticipated that genetic markers in the future will be implemented in an integrated molecular diagnostic and prognostic approach of our patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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