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Vitamin D Deficiency Potentially Impacts 200 Genes Associated With Disease

August 23, 2010: 10:14 AM EST
British scientists who mapped the points at which vitamin D interacts with human DNA found more than 200 genes where a vitamin D deficiency, caused mainly by insufficient exposure to the sun and sometimes an inadequate diet, increases susceptibility to disease. A well-known risk factor for rickets, vitamin D deficiency is also being linked to autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, as well as certain cancers and even dementia. Researchers using new DNA sequencing technology created a map of vitamin D receptor binding across the genome, finding 2,776 binding sites. Unusually high concentrations were found near genes associated with Crohn's disease, lupus, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and colorectal cancer.
Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan, et al., "A ChIP-seq defined genome-wide map of vitamin D receptor binding: Associations with disease and evolution", Genome Research, August 23, 2010, © Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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