Editors' ChoiceImmune Disorders

Detecting disease before symptoms appear

Sci. Signal.  17 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 403, pp. ec341
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad8624

Diseases may be easier to treat if caught early. However, means of identifying early disease—especially before symptoms appear—are in short supply. Gustafsson et al. identified early regulators of T cell–mediated disease by finding transcription factors that are involved in T cell differentiation and also enriched in disease-associated polymorphisms. Three such experimentally validated transcription factors—GATA3, MAF, and MYB—and their targets were differentially expressed in asymptomatic stages of two different T cell–mediated diseases—multiple sclerosis and seasonal allergic rhinitis. These data not only provide potential markers of disease development but also shed light on the mechanistic underpinning of T cell–mediated disease.

M. Gustafsson, D. R. Gawel, L. Alfredsson, S. Baranzini, J. Björkander, R. Blomgran, S. Hellberg, D. Eklund, J. Ernerudh, I. Kockum, A. Konstantinell, R. Lahesmaa, A. Lentini, H. R. I. Liljenström, L. Mattson, A. Matussek, J. Mellergård, M. Mendez, T. Olsson, M. A. Pujana, O. Rasool, J. Serra-Musach, M. Stenmarker, S. Tripathi, M. Viitala, H. Wang, H. Zhang, C. E. Nestor, M. Benson, A validated gene regulatory network and GWAS identifies early regulators of T cell–associated diseases. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 313ra178 (2015). [Abstract]

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