Links between variants in the APOL1 gene and kidney disease in African Americans are among the strongest genetic associations reported for a common disease, according to recent findings. The research could help identify patients who need early treatment and help researchers identify how variants in the gene wreak havoc on the kidneys.
The findings were reported in several recent articles published together in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).
“The five articles published in JASN launch a new era in investigating the underlying risks for developing two very common and complex kidney diseases in African Americans,” said Eric G. Neilson MD, editor-in-chief of JASN. “Susceptibility variants such as those in the APOL1 gene give scientists new tools for diagnosing and understanding certain diseases, and they could eventually provide new targets for drug therapy.”