Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New potential therapeutic target discovered for genetic disorder -- Barth syndrome

04.03.2009
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center may have discovered a new targeted intervention for Barth Syndrome (BTHS). BTHS, a sometimes fatal disease, is a serious genetic disorder occurring predominantly in males that leads to infection or heart failure in childhood.

The new study entitled, "Role of calcium-independent phospholipase A2 in the pathogenesis of Barth syndrome", was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the benefits of targeted intervention with an iPLA2-VIA inhibitor that prevents a major symptom of the disease- cardiolipin deficiency.

"Our research has established a causal role of cardiolipin deficiency in the pathogenesis of Barth syndrome and identified an important enzyme in cardiolipin degradation called iPLA2-VIA as a potential target for therapeutic intervention of the disease," said Mindong Ren, Ph.D., lead investigator of the study and assistant professor of cell biology at NYU Langone Medical Center.

BTHS syndrome is an X-linked genetic cardioskeletal muscle disease resulting in muscle weakness and fatigue in patients. The debilitating disorder is caused by a mutation in the genetic coding of tafazzin, an enzyme of the cardiolipin pathway. Cardiolipin is an essential lipid in the inner membrane of mitochondria responsible for normal cell structure and energy production. BTHS patients exhibit defects in cardiolipin metabolism which help fight infections. The various symptoms of BTHS, in addition to cardiolipin deficiency, include cardiomyopathy (weakness in heart muscle), neutropenia (a reduction in neutrophils or white blood cells that fight bacterial infections), muscle weakness & fatigue (caused by cellular deficiency), growth delay, and increase of organic acids in urine.

In a previous study, NYU researchers documented the characteristics of a tafazzin-deficiency in a Drosophila (fruit fly) model of the disease, showing low and abnormal cardiolipin concentration, abnormal mitochondria, and poor motor function. In this new study researchers documented that tafazzin or cardiolipin deficiency in Drosophila disrupts the final stage of spermatogenesis causing male sterility. Using this fly model, the study showed that this trait of cardiolipin deficiency can be genetically suppressed by inactivating calcium-independent phospholipase A2, which prevents the degradation of cardiolipin. This method keeps cardiolipin levels normal. Researchers were also able to show that treatment of BTHS patients lymphoblasts within a tissue culture with the iPLA2-VIA inhibitor BEL partially restored the tissue cultures cardiolipin homeostasis.

"Taken together, our two findings establish a causal role of cardiolipin deficiency in the pathogenesis of Barth syndrome and identify iPLA2-VIA as a very important enzyme," said Michael Schlame, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and cell biology, NYU Langone Medical Center. "This is good news for patients since this enzyme is now a potential target for therapeutic intervention."

According to researchers, although this has not been tested in humans, the successful restoration of these mutated cells with BEL shows promise for continued BTHS research, patients and their families. There are no treatments for Barth syndrome at this time.

This study was funded in part by grants from the Barth Syndrome Foundation, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, and NIH.

Link to full article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org/content/106/7/2337.full?sid=14754cf1-3343-490f-a418-ef589e10e510

Lauren Woods | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nyumc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>