Two genes are inappropriately switched on in individuals with antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA) vasculitis, suggesting that these genes play a role in development of the disease, report researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ciavatta DJ et al. J Clin Invest. 2010:120:3209-3219). In healthy individuals, these 2 genes normally are silenced—that is, prevented from being expressed.
Patients with ANCA vasculitis have 2 aberrantly expressed neutrophil proteins, proteinase 3 (PR3) and myleoperoxidase (MPO). ANCAs activate neutrophils, causing vascular injury that leads to ANCA vasculitis.
Friedrich MJ. Gene Silencing and Vasculitis. JAMA. 2010;304(17):1888. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1519