Psoriasis Gene Finally Found

After searching for two decades, scientists from Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis say they have finally found a gene directly linked to plaque psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis that affects 7.5 million Americans.

The discovery is important because locating the gene mutation in those who have psoriasis is the first step in developing a more effective treatment. It turns out that those who suffer from the dry, red, scaly skin have a mutation in the CARD14 gene, the scientists found when using advanced DNA technology when they studied families from Europe and Taiwan.

The researchers also discovered that the gene plus an environmental factor are enough to cause plaque psoriasis, and they found that those who had psoriasis arthritis also had the CARD14 gene.

“Now, we have a much clearer picture of what is happening in psoriasis,” study author Anne Bowcock, professor of genetics at the university said in a statement. “And now with all kinds of new therapeutic targets that lie within the CARD14 pathway, the field is wide open.”