Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers show key protein necessary for normal development of red blood cells

05.10.2005


Virginia Commonwealth University researchers studying hemoglobin genes, mutations of which play a role in genetic blood disorders like sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia, have shown in studies with mice that the KLF2 protein is crucial for making young red blood cells.



The findings may point researchers to future gene therapies for patients with sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia.

In the October issue of Blood, the journal of the American Association for Hematology, researchers demonstrated that a protein called KLF2 regulates the production of embryonic globin genes and the maturation and stability of embryonic red blood cells in a mouse model. Researchers observed that KLF2 is responsible for controlling and “turning on” the embryonic globin gene.


“Understanding how genes are turned on and off, and the switch from the embryonic globin gene to the adult beta-globin gene has clinical relevance to treatment of sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia,” said Joyce A. Lloyd, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Genetics at VCU, and corresponding author for this study.

“Our findings are significant for future treatment of these blood disorders, potentially using gene therapies and other novel strategies,” she said. In gene therapy, a normal DNA is inserted into cells to correct a genetic defect. To correct the defect or mutation, a gene may be replaced, altered or supplemented.

According to Lloyd, the production of blood cells involves a complex differentiation pathway that involves the interaction of many molecular players and proteins.

In humans, there are four globin genes clustered on chromosome 11 in the order in which they are “turned on” or expressed. These genes include the epsilon-globin gene, two gamma-globin genes and the beta-globin gene. Lloyd said that during fetal development, the embryonic epsilon-globin gene is active first, followed by the gamma-globin genes, and finally the adult form, beta-globin takes control following birth.

Lloyd and Priyadarshi Basu, Ph.D., lead investigator at VCU, and the research team compared mice that were missing the gene for KLF2 to normal mice. They found that the KLF2-deficient mice produced embryonic red blood cells that appeared abnormal, were more likely to undergo cell death, and produced significantly lower amounts of globin mRNA than those found in normal mice. Globin mRNA is a key player in gene expression that helps translate the DNA’s genetic code.

Lloyd and her colleagues identified that the role of KLF2 for the embryonic epsilon-globin genes is analogous to that of a protein called EKLF. EKLF plays a central role in the developmental regulation of the adult beta-globin gene, and is essential for the maturation and stability of adult red blood cells. Researchers believe that the roles of EKLF and KLF2 may partially overlap in controlling human embryonic and fetal globin gene expression.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Lloyd collaborated with colleagues in the VCU Department of Human Genetics, and the VCU Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology; the Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Cincinnati; and the Department of Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco.

Sathya Achia-Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>