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Comparative Genomics for the Investigation of Autoimmune Diseases

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The complete DNA sequence of the human genome and of several related mammals are now available, due to the investments of enormous resources and advances in sequencing technology. Novel technologies have been developed to compare multiple genomes with each other, thus specifying regions of sequence similarity among mammals and with their pathogens. Larger blocks of sequence similarity (syntenic regions) have been determined and made publicly available. In many ways, novel insights can be gained by such data when combining external genetic or clinical information for these syntenic loci. These novel tools have proven to be successful in inferring functional equivalence between loci of multiple genomes.

This review reports on the role of comparative genomics in research on autoimmune diseases, a field with strong dependencies on animal models of human diseases and the problem of an adequate information transfer between multiple organisms and research areas.

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Keywords: DNA sequences; Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG); Pathway Data; bioinformatics; genetic mutation; susceptibility locus (SL)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Rostock, Institutes of Immunology, Schillingallee 70, 18057 Rostock, Germany.

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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