Molecular genetics of Psoriasis (Principles, technology, gene location, genetic polymorphism and gene expression).
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease with an etiology bases on both environmental and genetic factors. As is the case of many autoimmune diseases its real cause remains poorly defined. However, it is known that genetic factors contribute to disease susceptibility. The linkage analysis has been used to identify multiple loci and alleles that confer risk of the disease. Some other studies have focused upon single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for mapping of probable causal variants. Other studies, using genome-wide analytical techniques, tried to link the disease to copy number variants (CNVs) that are segments of DNA ranging in size from kilobases to megabases that vary in copy number. CNVs represent an important element of genomic polymorphism in humans and harboring dosage-sensitive genes may cause or predispose to a variety of human genetic diseases. The mechanisms giving rise to SNPs and CNVs can be considered as fundamental processes underlying gene duplications, deletions, insertions, inversions and complex combinations of rearrangements. The duplicated genes being the results of 'successful' copies are fixed and maintained in the population. Conversely, many 'unsuccessful' duplicates remain in the genome as pseudogenes. There is another form of genetic variations termed copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (LOH) with less information about their potential impact on complex diseases. Additional studies would include associated gene expression variations with either SNPs or CNVs. Now many genetic techniques such as PCR, real time PCR, microarray and restriction fragment length analysis are available for detecting genetic polymorphisms, gene mapping and estimation of gene expression. Recently, the scientists have used these tools to define genetic signatures of disease, to understand genetic causes of disease and to characterize the effects of certain drugs on gene expression. This review highlights the principles, technology and applications on psoriasis.