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!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy