Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UC researchers find new ways to regulate genes, reduce heart damage

24.06.2008
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are looking for ways to reduce or prevent heart damage by starting where the problem often begins: in the genes.

Following a heart attack, cells die, causing lasting damage to the heart.

Keith Jones, PhD, a researcher in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, and colleagues are trying to reduce post-heart attack damage by studying the way cells die in the heart—a process controlled by transcription factors.

Transcription factors are proteins that bind to specific parts of DNA and are part of a system that controls the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA and then to protein. Transfer of genetic information also plays a role in controlling the cycle of cells—from cell growth to cell death.

... more about:
»Cell »DNA »Heart »Jones

"We call it 'gene regulatory therapy,'" says Jones.

So far, studies have identified the role for an important group of interacting transcription factors and the genes they regulate to determine whether cells in the heart survive or die after blood flow restriction occurs.

Often, scientists use virus-like mechanisms to transfer DNA and other nucleic acids inside the body.

The "virus" takes over other healthy cells by injecting them with its DNA. The cells, then transformed, begin reproducing the virus' DNA. Eventually they swell and burst, sending multiple replicas of the virus out to conquer other cells and repeat the process.

Now, UC researchers are further investigating new, non-viral delivery mechanisms for this transfer of DNA.

"We can use non-viral delivery vehicles to transfer nucleic acids, including transcription factor decoys, to repress activation of specific transcription factors in the heart," Jones says, adding that the researchers have made this successfully work within live animal models. "This means we can block the activity of most transcription factors in the heart without having to make genetically engineered mice."

Jones will be presenting these results at the International Society for Heart Research in Cincinnati, June 17-20.

He says this delivery mechanism involves flooding the cells with "decoys" which trick the transcription factors into binding to the decoys rather than to target genes, preventing them from activating those genes.

"We can use this technology to identify the target genes and then investigate the action of these genes in the biological process," Jones says.

He says that this delivery has limitations and advantages.

"It can be used to block a factor at any point in time and is reversible," he says. "However, right now, a specific delivery route must be used to target the tissue or cell."

Jones and other researchers are hoping that this new technology will allow them to directly address the effects of gene regulation in disease, as opposed to using classical drugs that treat symptoms or have significant adverse outcomes.

"So far, this seems to cause no adverse effects in animals," he says. "We are hopeful and are working toward pre-clinical studies."

Katie Pence | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

Further reports about: Cell DNA Heart Jones

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>