Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Huntington’s cure in flies lays groundwork for broader treatment approaches

12.07.2005


MADISON-Boosting levels of two critical proteins that normally shut down during Huntington’s disease, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have cured fruit flies of the genetic, neurodegenerative condition.



Forms of the same proteins-known in short form as CREB and HSP-70--exist in all cells, including those of humans.

The study results, published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were a "logical finding" because of a growing body of work in the area, says senior author Jerry Yin, a UW-Madison molecular geneticist. Scientists previously knew, for example, that hiking the activity of either CREB or HSP-70 lessened symptoms in mice or flies with Huntington’s disease.


Completely reversing a disease by targeting a combination of proteins or genetic pathways, however, reflects the growing need to embrace a broader treatment paradigm in the realm of genetic disorders, says Yin.

In working with a disorder such as Fragile X Syndrome, for example, conventional therapies might focus all their efforts on repairing the genetic pathways that cause neurons to go awry. Meanwhile, "the defective gene is not just in one type of tissue," says Yin. "And we are not yet sensitive to detecting the defects in those other tissues."

Rather than focusing treatment strategies on single genetic pathways, then, Yin believes a promising alternative might be to simultaneously target a cocktail of gene-induced activities - all of which are set in motion, for example, by a single faulty gene.

Yin has long worked in the area of "triplet expansion" diseases such as Huntington’s and Fragile X, in which genes go haywire due to a coding defect. His collaborators on the recent fruit fly work include, among others, lead author Kanae Iijima-Ando of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and UW-Madison assistant scientist Eric Drier.

Working with the simplistic genetics of flies is certainly a long way from the complex realities of humans, Yin says, particularly for diseases that can be attributed to dozens and even hundreds of abnormal gene functions.

Yet in some cases, it might turn out that gene pathways stemming from different genes converge at some point, into one common "superhighway," says Yin. "If you know that, you can do something in the superhighway part," he says.

Researchers studying epilepsy, for example, have discovered that at least 20 genes have a role to play in the onset of seizures, and dozens more may be involved. Though many might argue for directing research dollars to the continued search for epilepsy genes, Yin believes funding agencies should now consider investing in the search for these "superhighways" of gene convergence.

That search might be long and tedious, he adds, but it’s most certainly worth a shot. "I think the history of scientific discovery teaches us that we can’t predict anything. So we just have to play all the cards we can possibly play."

Jerry Yin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New technology offers fast peptide synthesis
28.02.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht Biofuel produced by microalgae
28.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

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...

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

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

WSU research advances energy savings for oil, gas industries

28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?

28.02.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>