Beyond genome wide association studies in celiac disease by exploring the non-coding genome

Rodrigo de Almeida

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    3271 Downloads (Pure)


    Celiac disease is the most prevalent food intolerance known. Individuals suffering from celiac disease develop a severe intestinal inflammation in response to gluten proteins that are present in the grains that form the basis of the Western diet. Although the incidence of celiac disease is 1%, it is thought that only 1 in 8 celiac patients is, in fact, diagnosed correctly. The only treatment for celiac disease is a life-long, gluten-free diet. Compliance is difficult and significantly affects the patient’s overall quality of life. This all means there is an urgent need to gain a better understanding of celiac disease and its mechanisms, which we hope will lead to the development of better diagnostic tools and/or treatment options.
    Recent studies have identified 40 regions in the human genome that predispose to the development of celiac disease. In this thesis, I applied statistical genetics and pathway analysis methods to gain a better understanding of how the predisposing genetic factors contribute to celiac disease. I prioritize functional variants, genes and pathways affected in celiac disease, including a long non-coding RNA that is regulated by a celiac-associated genetic variant.
    An exciting development is that circulating micro-RNA molecules have been identified as a new class of biomarkers for immune-mediated diseases. I found microRNAs candidates that can be used as novel biomarkers for celiac disease development and to monitor a patient’s adherence to the gluten-free diet. These biomarkers can be developed into useful clinical tests.
    Translated title of the contributionDe volgende stap na genoom-wijde associatie studies: de rol van het niet-coderende genoom
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Wijmenga, Cisca, Supervisor
    • Withoff, Sebo, Co-supervisor
    Award date25-Mar-2015
    Place of Publication[S.l.]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-7718-6
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7760-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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