Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic cause of heart valve defects

01.04.2014

Heart valve defects are a common cause of death in newborns. Scientists at the University of Bonn and the caesar research center have discovered "Creld1" is a key gene for the development of heart valves in mice.

The researchers were able to show that a similar Creld1 gene found in humans functions via the same signaling pathway as in the mouse. This discovery is an important step forward in the molecular understanding of the pathogenesis of heart valve defects. The findings have been published in the journal "Developmental Cell".

Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) is a congenital heart defect in which the heart valves and cardiac septum are malformed. Children with Down's syndrome are particularly affected. Without surgical interventions, mortality in the first months of life is high.

"Even in adults, unidentified valve defects occur in about six percent of patients with heart disease," says Prof. Dr. Michael Hoch, Executive Director of the Life & Medical Sciences (LIMES) Institute of the University of Bonn.

... more about:
»Cell »Genetic »NFAT »cardiac »defect »defects »immune »organs »transplant »valves

For years, there have been indications that changes in the so-called Creld1 gene (Cysteine-Rich with EGF-Like Domains 1) increase the pathogenic risk of AVSD. However, the exact molecular connection between the gene and the disease was previously unknown. A research team from the LIMES Institute and the caesar research center in Bonn has now shown, in a mouse model, that Creld1 plays a crucial role in heart development. Researchers at the University of Bonn switched off the Creld1 gene in mice:

"We discovered that the precursor cells of the heart valves and the cardiac septum could no longer develop correctly," reports Dr. Elvira Mass from the LIMES Institute. This was an important indication that Creld1 is required at a very early stage for the development of the heart.

In embryonic development, the heart develops as the first organ

"In the embryonic stage, the heart develops as the very first organ. It pumps blood through the vascular system and is essential for supplying other organs of the body with oxygen and nutrients," reports the cooperation partner, Dr. Dagmar Wachten who directs the Minerva research group "Molecular Physiology" at the caesar research center and is engaged in research involving cardiac development. The research team discovered that the Creld1 gene controls the development of heart valves via the so-called calcineurin NFAT signaling pathway. The heart valve defects in mice lacking the Creld1 gene ultimately led to insufficient oxygen supply to the body, causing the mouse embryo to cease development after approximately eleven days.

Potential starting point for improving diagnostic measures

The research team anticipates that the findings can be carried over to patients. With regard to cardiac development, mice and humans are very similar and the Creld1 gene and the calcineurin/NFAT signaling pathway likewise function analogously in both species. "Our results contribute to a better understanding of the molecular basis of heart development and, in the medium-term, to improved diagnosis of unidentified heart valve diseases," explains Prof. Hoch. Interestingly, the calcineurin/NFAT signaling pathway is not only active in the heart but also in immune cells. In transplant medicine, it has to be suppressed over the long-term by drugs such as cyclosporine A so that transplanted organs are not rejected. "Within the scope of the ImmunoSensation Excellence Cluster, we are currently investigating the mechanism of action of Creld1 in immune cells," says Prof. Hoch, who is convinced that it will also be of importance in transplant medicine in the future.

Publication: Murine Creld1 controls cardiac development through activation of calcineurin/NFATc1 signaling, Developmental Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.02.012

Contact information:

Prof. Dr. Michael Hoch
Life & Medical Sciences (LIMES) Institute
of the University of Bonn
Tel. ++49-(0)228-7362737
E-Mail: m.hoch@uni-bonn.de
Web: www.limes-institut-bonn.de

Dr. Elvira Mass
Life & Medical Sciences (LIMES) Institute
of the University of Bonn
Tel. ++49-(0)228-7362767
E-Mail: emass@uni-bonn.de

Dr. Dagmar Wachten
caesar research center, Bonn
Minerva research group leader
Tel. ++49-(0)228-9656311
E-Mail: dagmar.wachten@caesar.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiAR-peJijs&feature=youtu.be

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Cell Genetic NFAT cardiac defect defects immune organs transplant valves

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Newly discovered 'multicomponent' virus can infect animals
26.08.2016 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht Symmetry crucial for building key biomaterial collagen in the lab
26.08.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

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: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Symmetry crucial for building key biomaterial collagen in the lab

26.08.2016 | Health and Medicine

Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise

26.08.2016 | Earth Sciences

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits

26.08.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>