Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rare developmental disorder linked to tumor-suppressing protein, Stanford researchers find

04.08.2014

CHARGE, which affects 1 in 10,000 babies, is an acronym whose letters stand for some of the more common symptoms of the condition: coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of growth and/or development, genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness.

Originally, the researchers were examining the tumor-suppressive properties of the protein, called p53, not investigating developmental disorders. But when a mouse model developed a strange set of deficiencies, the researchers followed a trail of clues that led them to link p53 with CHARGE syndrome.

"It was a very big surprise and very intriguing," said Jeanine Van Nostrand, PhD, lead author of a paper describing the research and a former Stanford graduate student, now at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. "P53 had never before been shown to have a role in CHARGE."

The paper will be published online Aug. 3 in Nature. The senior author is Laura Attardi, PhD, professor of radiation oncology and of genetics.

Cellular quality control regulator

The researchers originally created a mouse model that expressed a mutated form of the protein, known as p53, to investigate the behavior of p53 in suppressing tumors. Mice expressing only the mutated protein survived. But to their surprise, heterozygous mice, or those with one copy of the mutated p53 and one normal copy, developed symptoms of CHARGE and died in utero.

P53 is a cellular quality-control regulator. When it spots an ailing cell, it triggers other proteins to kill the cell or arrest its division. In a developing human or mouse, other proteins switch off p53 so it doesn't inadvertently kill important cells. The mutated form of p53 created by the researchers had a disabled off-switch, but it also couldn't communicate with other proteins to spark the cellular death. Therefore, a mouse containing only the mutated p53 survived to adulthood.

But when mice had one copy of a mutated p53 gene and one normal copy, the resultant proteins formed hybrids. These hybrid p53 proteins couldn't be turned off, but they retained the ability to trigger cellular death. Interestingly, these proteins only affected certain types of cells, causing the symptoms of CHARGE. The results suggest that p53 may play a role in other developmental disorders, Attardi said.

"It really reiterates how carefully p53 must be regulated," Attardi said. "It needs to be turned on at the right time and place. If it's not, it can cause damage."

CHARGE linked to gene mutation

The mechanisms of CHARGE syndrome remain a mystery, although it has been linked to a mutation in a gene called CHD7. Attardi's team examined the connection between p53 and CHD7. They discovered that the CHD7 protein can keep p53 turned off.

By linking p53 with CHARGE, this study elucidates molecular pathways that could be used to develop CHARGE therapies, said co-author Donna Martin, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and of human genetics at the University of Michigan Medical School and an expert on CHARGE.

###

Additional Stanford authors are former graduate students Colleen Brady, PhD, and Thomas Johnson, MD; postdoctoral scholar Heiyoun Jung, PhD; graduate students Daniel Fuentes, Chieh-Yu Lin and Chien-Jung Lin; Margaret Kozak, a former research assistant; Hannes Vogel, MD, professor of pathology and of pediatrics; Jonathan Bernstein, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics; and Joanna Wysocka, PhD, associate professor of chemical and systems biology and of developmental biology.

Other authors of the study are affiliated with Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, Université Paris Descartes, the Indiana University School of Medicine and the University of Michigan Medical School.

The study was supported by the National Science Foundation; the National Cancer Institute (grant 1F31CA167917); the National Institutes of Health (grants R01GM095555, R01DC009410, HL118087, HL121197 and R01CA140875); the American Heart Association; the March of Dimes Foundation; the American Cancer Society; and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Information about the Stanford's Department of Radiation Oncology and the Department of Genetics, which also supported the study, is available at http://radonc.stanford.edu and http://genetics.stanford.edu.

The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://mednews.stanford.edu. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For information about all three, please visit http://stanfordmedicine.org/about/news.html.

Print media contact: Rosanne Spector at (650) 725-5374 (manishma@stanford.edu)

Broadcast media contact: M.A. Malone at (650) 723-6912 (mamalone@stanford.edu)

Rosanne Spector | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: CHARGE Syndrome CHD7 Cancer Medicine death disorder heart defects p53 proteins symptoms

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>