“We wanted to find out if this is a primary event associated with the disorder or if it is a secondary response to tissue injury,” said Dr. Thomas A. Cooper, professor of pathology at BCM and senior author of the report that appears today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is associated with hundreds and even thousands of repeats of the nucleotides CTG within a gene called DM kinase protein gene or DMPK. [Cytosine (C), thymine (T), guanine (G) and adenine (A) are all nucleotides that make up DNA. C, G, A, and uracil (U) make up RNA.] In the mouse that Cooper and his colleagues specially bred, the repeats in the gene can be turned on in heart, skeletal muscle and brain tissue at any age.
The researchers found that within three hours of turning on the repeats, another RNA-binding protein called muscleblind like (MBNL) began to bind the genetic material in the nucleus of the cell. That mean the RNA was trapped in the nucleus and unable to take the genetic message about which proteins to make to the protein manufacturing areas in the cytoplasm of the cell.
Within six hours, levels of CUGBP1 begin to increase. The increased in CUGBP1 then alters how a number of other genes are regulated. At that point, the cascade of events that affect the heart starts.
“The heart doesn’t even ‘know’ that it is sick yet,” said Cooper. This finding shows that the increase levels of CUGBP1 is an early event and plays an important role in the development of the disease.
Others who took part in this research include Drs. Guey-Shin Wang, Debra L. Kearney, Mariella De Biasi and George Taffet, all of BCM. Funding for this research came from the National Institutes of Health and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
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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...
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