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Huntington's marker.

Huntington's marker

Scientists have located what they say is the best marker yet for the Huntington's disease gene.

The new marker, called C4H, is a DNA sequence positioned about 4 million base pairs closer to the gene--which is located on chromosome 4--than the previous marker, G8 (SN: 11/12/83, p.311). In fact, C4H may even be on top of the gene, because a study of 150 people with the fatal neurological disorder has shown that C4H travels with the gene in all cases. The previous marker traveled with the gene 96 percent of the time.

The new marker will allow better presymptomatic testing for the disease. Research testing is being done at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Columbia University in New York City and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The next step is to find the gene itself, which requires finding a DNA segment that produces a protein that may be responsible for the disease, says principal author T. Conrad Gilliam of Columbia, whose report appears in the Nov. 13 SCIENCE. Ten percent of a chromosome codes for a protein.

Gilliam, who was with the Neurogenetics Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital when the research was done, says it will take at least another year to locate the gene.
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Title Annotation:marker for Huntington's disease gene
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 28, 1987
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