When the intestines are not able to properly process our diet, a variety of disorders can develop, with chronic diarrhea as a common symptom. Chronic diarrhea can also be inherited, most commonly through conditions with genetic components such as irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers in Norway, India, and at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have identified one heritable DNA mutation that leads to chronic diarrhea and bowel inflammation.
Shawn Levy, Ph.D., faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha said, "Based on the effects seen from this one mutation, we are hopeful that the work will aid in understanding of much more common diseases like Crohn's and irritable bowel syndrome, which also have inflammation and diarrhea as symptoms."
The Norwegian family studied for the paper published today in The New England Journal of Medicine has 32 living members with a number of related inflammatory bowel conditions. Such a large family allowed scientists in Norway to use traditional genetic linkage methods to narrow down the potential DNA mutation to one portion of chromosome 12, and then to a specific gene called GUCY2C.
The Norway group asked Levy and his group at HudsonAlpha to confirm initial findings on this mutation as well as determine if there were other mutations that could contribute to the disorder. "Our exome sequencing was able to rule out other mutations and demonstrate that the one change in the GUCY2C gene was common to the disease," commented Levy.
The protein made from the GUCY2C gene is involved in transmitting specific chemical signals from food consumed to the cells inside our bowels. But the family members with chronic diarrhea have a mutation that makes the protein constantly "on," or transmitting much more signal than it should. Based on this new understanding, the scientists are now evaluating possible drug treatments based on the function of the affected protein. They can also recommend that GUCY2C be reexamined in more common bowel inflammation syndromes, as it may contribute to pathology for thousands of people worldwide.
The article "Familial Diarrhea Syndrome Caused by an Activating GUCY2C Mutation," by Fiskerstrand et al. can be found at the website http://www.nejm.org.
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, is the cornerstone of the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus. The campus hosts a synergistic cluster of life sciences talent - science, education and business professionals - that promises collaborative innovation to turn knowledge and ideas into commercial products and services for improving human health and strengthening Alabama's progressively diverse economy. The non-profit institute is housed in a state-of-the-art, 270,000 square-ft. facility strategically located in the nation's second largest research park. HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of genomic research, economic development and educational outreach.
Chris Gunter or Holly Ralston | EurekAlert!
Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System
Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.08.2017 | Life Sciences