To understand how genes affect human health, researchers need to go beyond variants in the DNA sequence, and dive into the switches, or enhancers, that control when and where a gene is expressed in the body. Now, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology have created 3D maps of how enhancer sequences and genes interact in several types of immune cells. This work advances the understanding of individual risk for diseases from asthma to cancer and even COVID-19.
“The difference is within us,” said Vivek Chandra, PhD, an instructor at La Jolla Institute for Immunology. “We can get infected by the same bacteria or viruses, but the ways our diseases progress can be very different.”