“Most disease conditions are complex. A lot of times, there is not just one gene that’s involved but a pathway. There may be multiple genes that come together to help produce whatever the end result may be,” Dr. Jones said. “So, identifying a gene and pathways may key you into the bigger picture of what’s going on with that process, and identifying that gives you the opportunity to look at other relationships, which may be more important than a particular gene alone.”
Dr. Jones and colleagues recently used advanced genetic sequencing technology to profile the genomes of six keloids and six normal skin samples; that profiling revealed 152 keloid specific genes. Those genes were uploaded into Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, which led to the discovery of 10 genes that are part of biological pathways known to be important to the process of keloid development. Dr. Jones presented his findings at the International Symposium of Facial Plastic Surgery in May 2014.
“Some of the genes we identified are unique; they haven’t yet been reported in keloids,” Dr. Jones said. “This research allows us to look at the genes identified in this study in a different light and from the standpoint of their biological significance. These genes are part of pathways, and we can study them at different points along the pathways to identify opportunities to intervene therapeutically.”