Research ArticleHuman Immunology

A validated gene regulatory network and GWAS identifies early regulators of T cell–associated diseases

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Science Translational Medicine  11 Nov 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 313, pp. 313ra178
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad2722

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Identifying disease before it starts

Diseases may be easier to treat if caught early. However, means of identifying early disease—especially before symptoms appear—are in short supply. Now, Gustafsson et al. identify early regulators of T cell–mediated disease by finding transcription factors involved in T cell differentiation that are enriched in disease-associated polymorphisms. Three such experimentally validated transcription factors—GATA3, MAF, and MYB—and their targets were found to be 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.