Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery may lead to targeted heart disease treatments

09.05.2012
University of Guelph researchers have found the location and effect of abnormal heart proteins that can cause cardiac failure, a discovery that points to potential new ways to treat the most costly health problem in the world.

The study appears today in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Public Library of Science. It is available online: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036821

"In order to cure heart disease, you have to understand its fundamental properties," said study author John Dawson, a molecular and cellular biology professor.

"So we looked at variants of naturally occurring proteins that are found in people with heart disease."

The research team included graduate students Maureen Mundia, Ryan Demers, Melissa Chow and Alexandru Perieteanu.

Heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Canada, killing tens of thousands each year. Treating cardiovascular disease costs more than $20 billion a year in physician and hospital costs, lost wages and reduced productivity.

The study examined gene abnormalities for the actin protein and its role in heart failure.

As the most abundant protein in the body, actin helps in vital processes including muscle movement.

Abnormal actin genes are linked to heart diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). HCM causes excessive thickening of the heart muscle and can lead to sudden cardiac death. Under DCM, the heart weakens and enlarges, and cannot pump blood efficiently.

Scientists had already linked HCM and DCM to 14 actin gene abnormalities. "But this is the first time that many of these variants have been studied at the molecular level," Dawson said.

Understanding the molecular deficiencies of actin variants is a starting point for figuring out the underlying mechanisms of heart diseases, he said.

The researchers inserted human genes into insect cells to make heart muscle proteins for study. Dawson's lab is one of the few in the world able to do this work.

They then mapped where on the abnormalities occurred and their effects. Three were in spots that resulted in problems with heart contractions; three others were in locations that affected stability and efficiency.

Dawson hopes their work will help in developing more targeted treatments.

"Heart disease has many different forms and variants. If we can design specific therapies that address the precise mechanisms of the things going on — treat the root cause rather than the whole system — then we can improve the quality of life for people."

Dawson belongs to a growing cardiovascular research group at the University of Guelph, one of few such groups worldwide studying cardiovascular disease from single molecules to animal models.

"It makes Guelph a unique place to do this research," he said.

John Dawson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uoguelph.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit
21.08.2017 | Hokkaido University

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular volume control

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

When fish swim in the holodeck

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>