Susumu Tanaka, PhD, of the Tokyo Institute of Psychiatry in Japan, conducted the study from a pool of total ribonucleic acid (RNA) – a nucleic acid polymer that plays several important roles in the processes that translate genetic information from DNA into protein products – from 12 patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy and from 12 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The pooled samples were initially screened for candidate genes for narcolepsy by differential display analysis using annealing control primers (ACP).
The second screening of the samples was carried out by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a biochemistry and molecular biology technique for isolating and exponentially amplifying a fragment or sequence of interest of DNA, via enzymatic replication, without using a living organism – using gene-specific primers.
Finally, the expression levels of the candidate genes were further confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR using a new set of samples: 20 patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy and 20 healthy controls.
According to the study, the second screening revealed differential expression of four candidate genes, among which MX2 was confirmed as a significantly down-regulated gene in the white blood cells of narcoleptic patients by quantitative real-time PCR.
“In narcolepsy, it has been suggested that specific alterations in the immune system occur, and it’s important for pathophysiology of this disorder,” said Tanaka. “We thought that we can get these specific alterations by a differential display method using white blood cells. In this study, we applied the new ACP technology to RNA extracted from blood cells and successfully identified the MX2 gene as a dysregulated gene in narcoleptic patients. However, the direct relationship of this gene in narcolepsy has not been elucidated. Further study is needed to explore the functional relationship between the MX2 gene and narcolepsy and characterize the effect of interferons in narcolepsy.”
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes people to fall asleep uncontrollably during the day. It also includes features of dreaming that occur while awake. Other common symptoms include sleep paralysis, hallucinations and cataplexy.
About one out of every 2,000 people is known to have narcolepsy. The chance that you have narcolepsy is higher when a relative also has it. It is very rare for more than two people in the same family to have this sleep disorder. It affects the same number of men and women.
Those who suspect they might be suffering from narcolepsy, or another sleep disorder, are urged to consult with their primary care doctor or a sleep specialist.
Jim Arcuri | EurekAlert!
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy