Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A break for bone disease research

01.08.2011
A variant of a newly identified gene is linked to increased risk of developing osteoporosis in Japanese individuals

Osteoporosis is the reduction in bone strength that occurs during aging, which increases the chance of elderly people experiencing breaks. A genome-wide association study in the Japanese population has revealed that a genomic variant within a newly identified gene, which the discoverers have named FONG, enhances susceptibility to osteoporosis1.

Led by Shiro Ikegawa of the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine, the researchers began by examining the entire genomes of 190 Japanese individuals with osteoporosis and 1,557 controls. Based on the results of this initial study, they focused on 3,000 single nucleotide changes in the genomes of an additional 526 individuals with osteoporosis and 1,537 controls. Additional analyses in two further population samples led to the identification of the genomic variant, found on chromosome 2; however, there was no known gene around the variant. Instead, the researchers found only representations of portions of expressed genes in the form of several expressed sequence tags.

By analyzing messenger RNAs (mRNAs) expressed from the genomic region around the variant, Ikegawa and colleagues discovered that the genomic variant is within FONG, which stands ‘formiminotransferase N-terminal sub-domain containing gene’. This previously unknown gene is expressed in various human tissues, including bone. Because the genomic variant resides outside of the FONG protein-coding region, Ikegawa and colleagues hypothesized that the variant may somehow affect the expression levels of the FONG gene.

One domain of the FONG gene, the formiminotransferase N-terminal sub-domain, is common in many different species, which indicates that it could have a very important function for maintaining life. “This domain appears to be an enzyme that is responsible for converting the amino acid histidine to the amino acid glutamic acid,” says Ikuyo Inaba (nee Kou), a researcher in Ikegawa’s laboratory and the first author of the study.

Glutamic acid and its breakdown products are known to play an important role in maintaining the bones, so any problems with the creation of these compounds may lead to osteoporosis. “The glutamic acid signaling pathway may also affect osteoporosis risk in non-Japanese individuals,” she explains. “So, the association of this variant of the FONG gene with disease in other populations is worth investigating in the future.”

According to Inaba, further work is needed to determine how the osteoporosis-linked variant of the FONG gene can affect its expression. The identification of this variant in FONG—and its link to osteoporosis—can aid in the development of new therapies for this disease.

Reference
Kou, I., Takahashi, A., Urano, T., Fukui, N., Ito, H., Ozaki, K., Tanaka, T., Hosoi, T., Shiraki, M., Inoue, S., et al. Common variants in a novel gene, FONG on chromosome 2q33.1 confer risk of osteoporosis in Japanese. PLoS ONE e19641 (2011)

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Bone and Joint Diseases, RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>