Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Increased risk of osteoporosis associated with gene that one in five people have

02.02.2005


About nineteen percent of people have a genetic variation that may increase susceptibility to osteoporosis, a new study reveals. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrated that in women the variant gene speeds up the breakdown of estrogen and is associated with low density in the bones of the hip.



The study will be reported in the February issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and is available online.

The gene, named CYP1A1, makes an abundant enzyme that detoxifies foreign substances and also breaks down estrogen as a normal part of maintaining proper estrogen balance. Within the general population, several variations of the CYP1A1 gene exist, and the variants differ from one another by one or more DNA base pairs. "Previous studies showed that some CYP1A1 variants are linked to estrogen-related cancers, such as breast, ovarian or endometrial cancers," says Reina Armamento-Villareal, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases. "The link to estrogen suggested that the gene could also affect bone density. No one had ever investigated that possibility, so we set up a study to evaluate the relation between bone density and variations of the CYP1A1 gene."


The researchers studied 156 women with an average age of 63.5 years who were at least one year past menopause. They analyzed the genetic sequence of each woman’s CYP1A1 gene to identify which of the genetic variants they possessed.

One of the variations of the gene, known to be present in 19 percent of the general population, was found in women who had significantly lower blood estrogen levels and higher levels of urinary estrogen breakdown products than normal. These women also had a higher than normal urinary concentration of a marker that indicates bone resorption and had significantly lower than normal bone density in regions of the upper femur near the hip joint. "The data suggest that this particular variation of the gene produces an enzyme that breaks down estrogen faster than usual, leading to low serum estrogen levels and high levels of estrogen metabolites," Villareal says. "Low levels of estrogen put a woman at risk for osteoporosis, and our data showed a strong correlation between the genetic variant and low bone density."

The research team measured bone density in both the spine and the upper femur. The bone mass of the spine proved not to be affected by genetic variation in CYP1A1. "Our study suggests that this genetic variant specifically affects the hip bones," Villareal says. "For those with this form of the CYP1A1 gene, that’s not good news. Low density in the hip can lead to hip fractures, which can be devastating."

Recent statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation estimate that more than 20 percent of hip fracture patients die within a year. Additionally, about 30 percent of hip fracture patients will fracture the opposite hip, up to 25 percent may require long-term nursing home care and only 40 percent fully regain their prefracture level of independence.

Given the seriousness of the condition, Villareal asserts it would be very advantageous to identify those people at especially high risk for osteoporosis of the hip. The CYP1A1 variant that the researchers linked to osteoporosis may be an important genetic marker for evaluating that risk. "Ideally, you want to start early to avoid osteoporosis," Villareal says. "Our next study will look at a much younger group of women. My guess is that we will find that females with this variant gene are breaking down estrogen rapidly from the day they are born. In that case, they would never achieve an adequate peak bone density and would lose even more bone mass after menopause. If we can catch them at an early age, we can maximize their chances to avoid osteoporosis."

Gwen Ericson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

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...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

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...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Speed data for the brain’s navigation system

06.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization

06.12.2016 | Life Sciences

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>