In a recent study published in Science - Translational Medicine, researchers found that LRRK2, a known Parkinson’s Disease gene, is also involved in Crohn’s disease. The study found two mutations of the LRRK2 gene in Crohn's disease patients, one more common in patients and the other more prevalent in healthy subjects. Most Crohn's disease patients who carried the risk mutation developed the disease on average six years earlier than those who did not carry this mutation.
Euretos Search shows that the link between LRRK2, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s is discussed in 24 scientific articles. This most recent study provides further evidence for this link.
Figure 1: Search showing literature on LRRK2, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s (source: Euretos AI Platform)
A key question at this point is time is to identify the underlying mechanism driving this involvement in both disorders. Using Euretos Analytics, a comprehensive gene - disease analysis was undertaken which analyses in a single overview essential aspects disease pathology such as differential expression, gene mutations, animal models, metabolites, phenotypes, pathways, cell & molecular functions and organ and tissue functions.
From a dysregulation perspective, the gene-disease overview shows that LRRK2 is overexpressed in a number of differential expression experiments and also interacts with many genes dysregulated for Crohn’s Disease:
Figure 2: Differential expression analysis showing multiple interactions with dysregulated genes (source: Euretos AI Platform)
From a phenotype perspective, the gene-disease overview shows that LRRK2 is directly and indirectly involved in relevant phenotypes including inflammation and Ulcerative Colitis:
Figure 3: Phenotype analysis showing LRRK2’s direct and indirect involvement multiple phenotypes (source: Euretos AI Platform)
From a phenotype perspective, the gene-disease overview shows that LRRK2 is directly and indirectly involved in multiple relevant cell and molecular dysfunctions related to Crohn’s Disease including cytotoxicity and oxidative stress:
Figure 4: Analysis showing LRRK2’s direct and indirect involvement multiple Cell & molecular dysfunctions (source: Euretos AI Platform)
Of course further research will be required to fully understand the specific mechanism driving the involvement of LRRK2 in both Parkinson’s and Crohn’s Disease. This initial analysis shows that there are many promising angles that can be investigated.
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About this series - The purpose of the Euretos Research Note series is to provide a data analytics perspective on recent life sciences publications. The series focuses on two types of questions: (1) Did the available data already point in the direction of a discovery? (2) What further research angles does the available data suggest?