Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Variations in detoxifying genes linked to Lou Gehrig's disease

07.07.2006
Genetic variations in three enzymes that detoxify insecticides and nerve gas agents as well as metabolize cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be a risk factor for developing sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), and possibly responsible for a reported twofold increased risk of ALS in Gulf War veterans.

These findings, from a study led Teepu Siddique, M.D., and colleagues at Northwestern University, open the door to investigating gene-environment interactions as a cause of ALS and other illnesses and to the development of molecular targets for specific treatments. The study was published in the August 22 online issue (available now) of the journal Neurology.

Siddique is Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Professor, Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences, professor of cell and molecular biology and director of the Neuromuscular Disorders Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

ALS is a complex neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neurons that results in muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, swallowing and breathing and eventual total paralysis and death generally within five years.

In 1993 Siddique and collaborators determined that mutations in a gene known as SOD1 account for 20 percent of familial, or inherited, ALS (2 percent of all cases of ALS). However, the cause of sporadic ALS is still unknown.

In earlier research Siddique and other researchers hypothesized that sporadic ALS is modulated by variations in multiple genes interacting with each other and environmental exposures.

The genes for human paraoxanases (PON 1, PON 2 and PON 3), which are located on chromosome 7q21.3, code for the production of detoxifying enzymes involved in the metabolism of a variety of drugs, organophosphate insecticides, such as parathion, diazinon and chlorpyrifos, and nerve gas agents such as sarin.

Previous research described a possible twofold increased risk for developing ALS in veterans of the Gulf War, indicating a war-related environmental exposure to organophosphates and sarin in genetically susceptible individuals as a possible cause. PON gene cluster variants have previously been associated with other neurodegenerative and vascular disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, coronary artery disease and stroke.

Although the Northwestern DNA study samples were not analyzed for inclusion of Gulf War veterans, Siddique and co-researchers found significant evidence that gene variations (polymorphisms) on the chromosome region encompassing PON2-PON3 were strongly associated with sporadic ALS.

"Thus, single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping in the intergenic regions of the PON gene cluster, and replication, gene expression, gene-gene interaction and PON serum/enzymatic studies may help elucidate the complexity of PON cluster association with ALS," Siddique said.

Siddique hopes to study DNA samples from Gulf War veterans with increased incidence of sporadic ALS and has applied for their DNA from the Veterans Administration collection.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>