October, 2012

Experimental Test Builds on LRI-Funded Research to Improve Lupus Diagnosis

A protein-containing computer chip developed by researchers at Stanford University and Intel could allow faster and more accurate diagnosis of lupus, according to a new report published in Nature MedicineThis important advance was facilitated by innovative research first funded by the Lupus Research Institute.

Pressing Need for Faster Diagnosis
As many of you know only too well, lupus diagnosis can take years as the symptoms vary widely between patients and come and go over time. Currently, there is no single laboratory test that can determine if someone has lupus.

The Stanford team engineered a silicon computer chip containing thousands of subtly different protein segments derived from a single protein (known as a histone 2B), which is a common target of autoantibodies in lupus. Testing blood from lupus patients by applying the sample directly on to the chip, the researchers could determine which patients had antibodies targeting histone 2B, and to which particular part of the protein.

LRI Grant Helped Meet the Need
The researchers distinguished patients with mild versus severe lupus using a biological lab test (biomarker) discovered by Dr. Emily Baechler-Gillespie, University of Minnesota, as part of an LRI novel research grant. The test measures genes being “switched-on” in white blood cells in response to a protein known as interferon, which is known to drive lupus.


The LRI: Closing in on the Cause, Going for the Cure

About the LRI
The world’s leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus, the LRI champions scientific risk-taking in the hunt for solutions to this complex and dangerous autoimmune disease.
To make a contribution, visit our website: www.lupusresearchinstitute.org.

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