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DNA damage can lead to regulation of inflammatory responses

April 14, 2016

"The immune system very likely plays a role, not only in all inflammatory diseases that afflict humans, but also in cancer," Fessler concluded. "Because of the new connection discussed in our paper, we may have a new means to manipulate the responses that affect those diseases."

Now, the researchers are taking advantage of another NIEHS translational program, the Environmental Polymorphisms Registry (EPR) (niehs.nih/research/clinical/join/epr/index.cfm), an ongoing study to collect DNA samples from nearly 20,000 North Carolinians. The EPR study will allow scientists to look for genes linked to disease. The study is a collaborative effort between NIEHS and the General Clinical Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Daniel Menendez, Ph.D., and Maria Shatz, Ph.D., are two LMG scientists who share first authorship on the paper. Menendez added that the EPR work will permit researchers to further examine the association between p53 and inflammation. "In related studies, we are looking at individuals who have genetic alterations in the way they might respond to p53 activation," he said. "We will try to determine if their cells behave differently, and if these subjects have changes in their inflammatory response, or an increased risk for certain inflammatory diseases."

Source: NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences