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Nuevo gen de susceptibilidad descubierto para pancreatitis crónica

NEW SUSCEPTIBILITY GENE DISCOVERED FOR CHRONIC PANCREATITIS
CTRC named new “bad guy” of disease

Dr. Miklos Sahin-Toth of Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine has named CTRC a susceptibility gene for three common forms of chronic pancreatitis, including alcoholic pancreatitis, which accounts for the majority of all cases in the United States and Europe; tropical pancreatitis, a common form found in India; and idiopathic pancreatitis, in which the cause is unknown.
Sahin-Toth’s team was the first to suggest earlier this year that the product of the CTRC gene, the digestive enzyme chymotrypsin C, plays an important role in the cause of chronic pancreatitis.

“Up to this point, researchers only studied trypsin as the bad guy of chronic pancreatitis,” Sahin-Toth says. “Now we can look at chymotrypsin C activity to help us treat the disease.”

CTRC is the first susceptibility gene for chronic pancreatitis discovered since 2000 and only the fourth overall.

Sahin-Toth and researchers from the University of Leipzig and Charité University Hospital in Germany found mutations in the CTRC gene prevent the proper regulation of trypsin levels, leaving more trypsin in the pancreas. High levels of trypsin are known to lead to pancreatitis.

Doctors will now be able to screen patients to learn if alterations in the CTRC gene cause their patients’ cases of pancreatitis.

Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive, inflammatory disease that leads to digestive problems, chronic pain, possible diabetes, and eventual destruction of the pancreas. The disease has no cure and the rate of hospitalization and costs associated with the disease are high.

More information about Dr. Sahin-Toth’s research appears in Nature Genetics online December 2 at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2007.44.

The mission of Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine is to provide excellent education to dental professionals throughout their careers; to shape the future of dental medicine and dental education through research; to offer excellent health care services to the community; to participate in community activities; and to foster a respectful and supportive environment.

Contact: Jackie Rubin, 617/638-4892, jackier@bu.edu

Courtesy: Boston University

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