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Scientists discover genetic causes of pancreatitis



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

19 August 2013

HYDERABAD: A team comprising doctors from Asian Institute of Gastroenterolgy (AIG) and scientists from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) along with international researchers have discovered hitherto unknown genetic causes for Chronic Pancreatitis in Indian populations. These findings will be published in the prestigious international journal Nature Genetics.

Addressing the media here on Sunday, CCMB director C H Mohan Rao said the study showed genetic mutations found in western populations need not necessarily be found in Indian populations. Pancreatitis is an inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, the organs which produce essential digestive enzymes in addition to producing insulin for sugar metabolism in the body.

The decade long research by Dr G R Chandak of CCMB, Dr D Nageshwar Reddy and Dr G V Rao of AIG representing India, involved genetic analysis of 300 patients, from Europe and Asia, afflicted with Tropical Calcific Pancreatitis which is one type of pancreatitis found largely in populations in south India. The research team's recent discovery was identification of a mutation in an essential enzyme producing Carboxypeptidase A1 gene (CPA1) in the Indian patients which caused functional loss of the enzyme.

Dr Chandak said, "The study has found a novel mutation in CPA 1 gene that was not found in non-Indian patients. This condition has an early onset in the patients that is many of them were young people.

The study could pave the way for improved diagnosis in India populations later."
The team's previous discoveries have included identification of mutations in two other genes corroborating the idea that pancreatitis has strong genetic factors and not just environmental or nutritional factors as was previously thought.

Published by: The Times Of India

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