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 Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>