London, May 10 : Different people have different sizes, and scientists have taken a major step in unravelling the mystery behind this variation by discovering ten new genes that regulate body height and may further help in disclosing details about biological pathways controlling human growth.
The results come as a result of a meta-analysis based on data from more than 26,000 study participants, reports Nature.
Not only did this analysis verified two already known genes, but also discovered ten new genes, which may account for explaining a difference in body size of about 3.5 centimetres.
In addition it also made some biologically insightful findings, which have been unknown till date. It was suggested that many identified genes are targeted by the microRNA let-7, which also influence the regulation of other genes. In fact, many other SNPs may regulate the structure of chromatin, the chromosome-surrounding proteins.
Besides, owing to the rare mutations for anomalous skeletal growth in some of the newly discovered genes, the results may benefit patients with inherited growth problems, or with problems in bone development.
However, a lot more functional studies are required to completely explain the biological mechanisms behind this growing list of genes related to height.
In the meta-analysis, the HelmholtzZentrum scientists analysed data from about 5,600 participants of the KORA study.
Scientists at the Institute for Human Genetics and the Institute of Epidemiology of the HelmholtzZentrum Munchen analysed DNA chips to genotype 500,000 of the most frequent variants in the human genome.
The study is published in the latest issue of Nature Genetics.