Rickets is a softening of the bones that most commonly results from a lack of vitamin D or calcium and from insufficient exposure to sunlight.
Hypophosphatasia is a rare, heritable form of rickets caused by mutations in a gene called TNAP, which is essential for the process that causes minerals such as calcium and phosphorus to be deposited in developing bones and teeth. The physical presentations of this disorder can vary depending on the specific mutation, with more severe symptoms occurring at a younger age of onset. The most severe form of the disease occurs at birth, which can present with absence of bone mineralization in utero, resulting in stillbirth.
Using a mouse model, José Luis Millán, Ph.D. tested the hypothesis that, when administered from birth, a bone-targeted form of the TNAP gene would ease the skeletal defects of HPP. The Millán laboratory, in collaboration with scientists from Enobia Pharma in Montreal, Canada and from the Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis, Missouri, created a soluble form of human TNAP that had been shown to display a strong attraction to bone tissue. Upon injecting the enzyme into the fat layer under the skin of the mice, the treated mice maintained a healthy rate of growth and apparent well being, as well as normal bone mineral density (BMD) of the skull, femur and spine. In fact, complete preservation of skeletal and dental structures were observed after 15 days, and bone lesions were still not seen after 52 days of treatment.
“While the biochemical mechanism that leads to skeletal and dental defects of HPP is now generally understood,” said Dr. Millán, “there is currently no established medical treatment.”
Given the success of this therapy in preventing HPP, current efforts in Dr. Millán’s laboratory are focused on reversing the bone defects in mice once the disease is quite advanced. Future clinical trials may reveal this as the first promising therapy for patients with this genetic disorder.
This study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Enobia Pharma, Inc., and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Andrea Moser | newswise
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine