By screening the genomes of mice with heart failure, Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered multiple stretches of DNA containing genes that modify the hearts pumping ability and survival with the disease. The findings could point researchers to genes that determine the severity of heart failure in patients, according to the Duke team.
Douglas A. Marchuk, PhD
Photo Credit: Duke University Medical Center
"Our goal is to find novel genes that modify human heart failure by letting the mouse point us in the right direction," said Duke cardiologist Howard Rockman, M.D., noting that 99 percent of mouse genes are shared by humans. "Such genes would provide us the means to identify those heart failure patients having subtle genetic differences that make them more susceptible to poor outcomes."
That information would allow physicians to identify those patients in need of the most aggressive therapies and provide new targets for drug development, Rockman said. He and geneticist Douglas Marchuk, Ph.D., also of Duke, reported their findings in the Dec. 1, 2003, issue of Human Molecular Genetics. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the French Federation of Cardiology and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
Kendall Morgan | dukemed news
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