Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research points to way to improve heart treatment

11.03.2010
Current drugs used to treat heart failure and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) have limited effectiveness and have side effects. New basic science findings from a University of Iowa study suggest a way that treatments could potentially be refined so that they work better and target only key heart-related mechanisms.

The team, which included researchers from Vanderbilt University, showed in theory that it might be possible to use drugs that maintain the positive effects on heart function of a known enzyme called calmodulin kinase II (CaM kinase) while reducing its negative effects. The findings were published the week of March 1 in the Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

anderson"CaM kinase helps regulate calcium, which is essential to heart function, but CaM kinase's calcium connection also can play a role in electrical problems that lead to irregular heart beats and cell death. This new finding suggests a specific way to keep the wanted CaM kinase effects but at the same time eliminate the bad effects," said Mark E. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., professor and head of internal medicine at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Anderson said that heart failure is among the most common discharge diagnoses for patients leaving hospital. "Most patients with heart failure are at risk of sudden death. Figuring out how and why heart failure happens is a major goal for academic medicine," Anderson said.

CaM kinase adds phosphate groups to other proteins -- a process known as phosphorylation. This process can activate proteins and set in motion or sustain cell activity.

"The study showed, surprisingly, the importance of CaM kinase's effect on two particular amino acid targets among the thousands of amino acids that make up protein targets for phosphorylation by CaM kinase. Controlling these targets might prevent the 'ripple effect' of other molecular events that result in arrhythmia and cell death," said Anderson, who also is a member of the University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center and holds the Francois Abboud Chair in Internal Medicine.

Using rabbit heart cells, which behave much like human heart cells, the team showed that if CaM kinase is prevented from interacting with a protein that regulates calcium channels, negative effects, including cell death, do not occur. Specifically, they showed it was possible to either block the specific site on the protein where CaM kinase binds or block the ability of CaM kinase to perform phosphorylation on the protein.

In both cases, blocking the action of CaM kinase prevented too much calcium activity, which can be harmful.

"CaM kinase is needed to maintain calcium channel function, which allows the heart to contract. But too much CaM kinase, and consequently too much calcium entry into heart cells, causes electrical instability and other downstream molecular problems that can lead to cell overload and cell death, which causes heart failure," Anderson said.

Anderson said a next step is to try to develop drugs to prevent the unwanted CaM kinase effects.

The study's primary author was Olha Koval, Ph.D., UI postdoctoral research scholar in internal medicine. Other major UI contributors included Thomas Hund, Ph.D., associate in cardiology, and Peter Mohler, Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine.

Anderson is a named inventor on a patent owned by Stanford University claiming to treat arrhythmias by CaM kinase inhibition.

NOTE TO EDITORS: "Fondation" in the name "Fondation Leducq" is spelled without a "u."

Becky Soglin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>