In addition, 215 differentially methylated genes related to axonal regeneration including Ifrd1, Unc5c, and Ntrk2 were found.
Biological Gene number Partial related methylated genes function Adhesion 580 Sox-2, Shh, Itpkb, Pkd1, Reln, Ptk2b, Nck2, Ass1 Lphn1, Cdh9, Epdr1, Myf5, Pdpn, Has2, Fgfrl1, Fer Secretion 553 Lphn1, Pim3, Fst, Pim3, Pcsk6, Lax1, Sct, Sytl3 Plcd1, Ykt6, Jak1, Stat2, Myc, Csf2, Lifr, Sos1 Proliferation 787 Dixdc1, Lrp6, Edn3, Nkx2, Cyr61, Src, Sox8, Stk4 Ephb1, Sstr3, Rrm2, Tcf3, Grn, Rhoa, Apc, Nox4, Strn Neuronal 473 Bhlhb9, Cckar, Fzd2, Thy1, Pbx3, regeneration Otx2, Lhx8, Btg2 Klhl1, Dlg2, Pak1, Wnt3, Mif, Tctn1, Evl, Ext1, Als2 Axonal 215 Ifrd1, c-Jun, Bcl2, Tnn, Mbp, Slit3, regeneration Ist1, Drgx, Thy1 Unc5c, Ntrk2, Isl1, Ptk2, Dscam, Atl1, Dnm2, Cxcl12 Figure 3: (a) The distribution of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) peaks in different components of genome.
After studying nearly 3,000 cystic fibrosis patients, the team found small genetic differences in a gene called IFRD1 linked to lung disease severity.
During the analysis, the researchers discovered that the protein encoded by IFRD1 is particularly abundant in a type of white blood cell called neutrophils, and that it regulates their function.
For understanding the IFRD1's role further, the researchers looked at mice in which the gene was removed.
While studying the blood samples from healthy human volunteers, the researchers found that the same IFRD1 variations that modified cystic fibrosis lung disease severity also altered neutrophil function in the healthy volunteers.
"It's possible that IFRD1 itself could become a target for treatment, but right now it's a signpost to pathways for further study," Karp said.