Scientists have identified a new genetic variant associated with an increased risk of atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease that typically affects the large flexures such as the bend of the elbows or the back of the knees.
While analysing more than 9600 participants from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, the research team discovered a gene variant on chromosome 11.
"Our findings cast new light on the pathogenesis of the disease," Nature magazine quoted Professor Young-Ae Lee, as saying.
The variant associated with increased risk of atopic dermatitis is located in a region containing the gene C11orf30 which encodes the protein EMSY and the researchers believe that mutation in this gene leads to the skin disease.
The same genetic variant has also been found common in patients with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract.
Scientists therefore suspect that this variant on chromosome 11 will unravel a novel common disease mechanism that can lead to chronic inflammation of various organs.
The study appears in Nature Genetics.