Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers provide study of early heart development and underlying cause of congenital heart defects

21.12.2005


Studies in drosophila genetics inform development of human heart



Researchers at The Burnham Institute for Medical Research have provided detailed insights into the early formation of the heart. A team lead by Dr. Rolf Bodmer found that two proteins, called Robo and Slit, are required for normal development of the heart and that malfunction of either of these proteins severely impacts the heart’s structure, resulting in congenital heart defects. These findings were published in the journal Current Biology released on December 20th.

Congenital heart defects involve the malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels while the fetus is developing in the uterus. According to the American Heart Association, congenital heart disease affects about 35,000 infants each year, and claims the lives of "nearly twice as many children" annually in the United States "as die from all forms of childhood cancer". Symptoms may arise at birth, during childhood, and sometimes not until adulthood.


Working with Drosophilia melanogaster, also known as the fruitfly, the researchers showed that the Slit and Robo proteins accumulate in a specific alignment during the formation of the heart tube, a linear tube representing the primitive heart before its cells assume their rhythmical contractile functions. Proper alignment of the heart tube cells is critical for heart assembly and proper shape, or morphology. The researchers found that mutation or misexpression of these proteins leads to misalignment of the heart tube and results in observed heart defects.

"Although there is much interest in the understanding of the basis of heart tube assembly, little is known about the underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms that orchestrate heart development," said Rolf Bodmer, Ph.D., Professor at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and corresponding author in the study. "These findings provide understanding of early controls in heart development, and we are eager to conduct further studies to reveal how these controls are executed."

Because Robo and Slit proteins are conserved in higher organisms, these discoveries may soon lead to a search for mutations in the corresponding human genes in patients with congenital heart defects, and may one day be applied to develop diagnostic tests that detect mutations in Robo and Slit for the early diagnosis of congenital heart defects.

Dr. Bodmer is known internationally for his work on the development of the heart in Drosophila. Medical scientists have long relied on fruitflies as a model for studying the genetics of embryonic development. It is now known, as Dr. Bodmer proposed a decade ago, that formation of the cardiac tube, the genesis of the heart, is a similar process in fruitflies and humans.

Nancy Beddingfield | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.burnham.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown 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: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>