Swapan Nath, a scientist with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and his team, analyzed over 17,000 human DNA samples collected from blood gathered from volunteers in South Korea, China, Malaysia and Japan.
Of the samples 4500 had lupus and the rest served as healthy controls for the research in which they identified 10 new genes associated with lupus, a debilitating condition where the body’s immune system becomes unbalanced and attacks its own tissues.
From the analysis the researchers identified 10 distinct DNA sequence variants linked to lupus a disease that affects nearly 5 million people worldwide.
In the study one gene in particular, known as GTF21 showed a likelihood of being involved in the development of lupus.
Mr Nath said its genetic effect appears to be higher than previously known lupus genes discovered from Asians, and they believe it now may be the predominant gene involved in lupus. He said the ultimate goal is to understand the disease better and develop personalised intervention therapies for patients based on their genetic makeup.