Research of Down Syndrome-related Genes

Research of Down syndrome-related genes is based on studying the genes located on chromosome 21. In general, this leads to an overexpression of the genes. Understanding the genes involved may help to target medical treatment to individuals with Down syndrome. It is estimated that chromosome 21 contains 200 to 250 genes. Recent research has identified a region of the chromosome that contains the main genes responsible for the pathogenesis of Down syndrome, located proximal to 21q22.3. The search for major genes involved in Down syndrome characteristics is normally in the region 21q21–21q22.3.

Some suspected genes involved in features of Down syndrome are given in the Table 1:

Table 1: Some genes located on the long arm of chromosome 21
Gene OMIM Reference Location Purported Function
APP 104760 21q21 Amyloid beta A4 precursor protein. Suspected to have a major role in cognitive difficulties. One of the first genes studied with transgenic mice with Down syndrome.
SOD1 147450 21q22.1 Superoxide dismutase. Possible role in Alzheimer's disease. Anti-oxidant as well as possible affects on the immuno-system.
DYRK 600855 21q22.1 Dual-specificity Tyrosine Phosphorylation-Regulated Kinase 1A. May have an effect on mental development through abnormal neurogenesis.
IFNAR 107450 21q22.1 Interferon, Alpha, Beta, and Omega, Receptor. Responsible for the expression of interferon, which affects the immuno-system.
DSCR1 602917 21q22.1–21q22.2 Down Syndrome Critical Region Gene 1. Possibly part of a signal transduction pathway involving both heart and brain.
COL6A1 120220 21q22.3 Collagen, type I, alpha 1 gene. May have an effect on heart disease.
ETS2 164740 21q22.3 Avian Erythroblastosis Virus E26 Oncogene Homolog 2. Researchers have "demonstrated that overexpression of ETS2 results in apoptosis. Transgenic mice overexpressing ETS2 developed a smaller thymus and lymphocyte abnormalities, similar to features observed in Down syndrome." ETS2-Transgenic mice were also shown to "develop neurocranial, viscerocranial and cervical skeletal abnormalities", similar skeletal abnormalities to those seen in Down's Syndrome.
CRYA1 123580 21q22.3 Crystallin, Alpha-A. Involved in the synthesis of Crystallin, a major component of the lens in eyes. May be cause of cataracts.

Read more about Research Of Down Syndrome-related Genes:  General Research, MicroRNA Genes

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