ALCEDIAG and epigenetics
ALCEDIAG research focuses on a specific subcategory of biology called epigenetics. Whereas genetics is the study of genes and heredity, epigenetics focuses on a complementary aspect - how environmental factors switch genes on and off and affect gene expression.
Epigenetic processes are reversible and dynamic as they evolve over time. Their occurrence depends, on the environment, in the broadest sense.
ALCEDIAG’s epigenetic biomarkers allow a dynamic approach of diagnostics, taking into account the patients’ condition, the potential progression of the disease as well as modifications due to treatment.
More specifically, ALCEDIAG studies one epigenetics mechanism called RNA editing.
RNA editing is a physiological process which regulates synaptic functions. For example, A o I RNA editing is the process by which adenosine nucleotides are substituted by Inosine nucleotides at very specific locations of mRNA strands. The results create modifications in the functionality of the proteins synthetized and thus, the signal transmission.
RNA editing process can be altered by diseases and pharmacology.
RNA editing and pathologies
Several studies have highlighted the relationships between RNA editing modifications and pathologies. RNA editing involvement has in particular been referred to for psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, depression, Bipolar disorders, and suicidal behavior). The involvement of RNA editing has also been described in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (erythematosus Lupus), and cancer.
ALCEDIAG has more than ten years of experience in the study of RNA editing in the field of psychiatry.
ALCEDIAG initially focused on RNA editing modifications in the brains of suicide patients.
ALCEDIAG researchers have discovered a biological brain signature for suicide, based on the identification of RNA editing biomarkers.
Whilst working through key stages, ALCEDIAG discovered a panel of blood biomarkers related to RNA editing and mental illnesses. This discovery was an important step towards a complete breakthrough for diagnosis in the field of psychiatry. These biomarkers indeed allow for a reliable, quantitative and biological diagnosis while being available via a simple blood sample.
ALCEDIAG biomarkers and its unique technology have been clinically tested and are protected by several patents.
ALCEDIAG set up its premises in France, with a unique and fully operational platform which features the extensive facilities required to conduct its research and assays in-house. This platform includes molecular biology, new generation sequencing as well as a full pipeline of bio-informatics and bio-statistics. These state of the art technologies enable ALCEDIAG to identify powerful algorithms to diagnose, select and improve patient management.