Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An important breakthrough at the IRCM associated with osteoporosis

05.10.2011
Researchers identify a new gene that could help identify individuals predisposed to developing the disease

Researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), directed by Dr. Jean Vacher, identified a new gene that modulates bone mass and that could become a risk factor for developing osteoporosis. This scientific breakthrough will be published tomorrow in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism.

Osteoporosis is a "silent" genetic disease characterized by low bone mineral density and deterioration of bone tissue, which leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture. In all cases, the disease is caused by an imbalance between the formation and resorption of bone tissue.

"The overall objective of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that determine the balance between bone formation and resorption (breakdown)," explains Dr. Vacher, Director of the Cellular Interactions and Development research unit at the IRCM. "Osteoblasts are responsible for making bones and work in synergy with osteoclasts, which reshape the bone. To gain insight into these complex mechanisms, we are studying the role of new genes that influence osteoclasts and osteoblasts."

The team of researchers recently isolated a gene that modulates osteoclasts. They found, in mice, that a loss of this gene's function leads to a significant increase in the number of osteoclasts, thereby generating an even higher level of bone resorption.

"We identified this gene as a novel modulator of bone mineral density in mice and humans," adds Dr. Vacher. "More importantly, we showed that the human gene could represent a new susceptibility factor for osteoporosis. Hence, this discovery will help identify individuals with a greater predisposition to the disease who could benefit from preventive measures."

According to Osteoporosis Canada, as many as two million Canadians suffer from osteoporosis. One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis, and so does one in eight men over the same age. In addition, 80 per cent of hip fractures are related to the disease. These result in death in up to 20 per cent of cases, and disability in 50 per cent of those who survive.

Mathieu Ferron, graduate student from Dr. Vacher's laboratory, is the article's first author. This research project was conducted in collaboration with scientists at Université Laval in Québec and Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis.

Research carried out at the IRCM was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). For more information on this discovery, please refer to the article summary published in Cell Metabolism.

About Dr. Jean Vacher

Jean Vacher obtained his Doctor of Science in biochemistry from the Université de Paris VII in France. He is Full IRCM Research Professor and Director of the Cellular Interactions and Development research unit. Dr. Vacher is a full research professor in the Department of Medicine (accreditation in molecular biology) at the Université de Montréal. He is also associate member of the Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine) at McGill University.

About the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)

Founded in 1967, the IRCM (www.ircm.qc.ca) is currently comprised of 35 research units in various fields, namely immunity and viral infections, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, neurobiology and development, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. It also houses three specialized research clinics, seven core facilities and three research platforms with state-of-the-art equipment. The IRCM employs 425 people and is an independent institution affiliated with the Université de Montréal. The IRCM clinic is associated to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM also maintains a long-standing association with McGill University.

Julie Langelier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ircm.qc.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

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,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

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...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

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...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

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...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New bioimaging technique is fast and economical

21.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>