Collaborative research study by Sanford-Burnham, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and UC San Diego shows blocking microRNA miR-25 halts progression of heart failure, improves cardiac function, and may increase survival
A team of cardiovascular researchers from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the University of California, San Diego have identified a small but powerful new player in the onset and progression of heart failure. Their findings, published in the journal Nature on March 12, also show how they successfully blocked the newly discovered culprit to halt the debilitating and chronic life-threatening condition in its tracks.
This is Sanford-Burnham's Mark Mercola, Ph.S.
Credit: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
In the study, investigators identified a tiny piece of RNA called miR-25 that blocks a gene known as SERCA2a, which regulates the flow of calcium in and out of heart-muscle cells. Decreased SERCA2a activity is one of the main causes of poor contraction of the heart and enlargement of heart-muscle cells leading to heart failure.
Using a functional screening system developed by researchers at Sanford-Burnham, the research team discovered miR-25 acts pathologically in patients suffering from heart failure, delaying proper calcium uptake in heart-muscle cells.
"Before the availability of high-throughput functional screening, our chance of teasing apart complex biological processes involved in disease progression like heart failure was like finding a needle in a haystack," said study co-senior author Mark Mercola, Ph.D., professor in the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham and professor of bioengineering at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. "The results of this study validate our approach to identifying microRNAs as potential therapeutic targets with significant clinical value."
Mercola's laboratory has pioneered the use of robotic high-throughput methods of drug discovery to identify new targets for heart failure. According to co-lead study authors Christine Wahlquist and Agustin Rojas Muñoz, Ph.D., developers of the approach and researchers in Mercola's lab at Sanford-Burnham, they used high-throughput robotics to sift through the entire genome for microRNAs involved in heart-muscle dysfunction.
Subsequently, the researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that injecting a small piece of RNA to inhibit the effects of miR-25 dramatically halted heart-failure progression in mice. In addition, it also improved their cardiac function and survival.
"In this study, we have not only identified one of the key cellular processes leading to heart failure, but have also demonstrated the therapeutic potential of blocking this process," said co-lead study author Dongtak Jeong, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the laboratory of the study's co-senior author Roger J. Hajjar, M.D.
Nearly six million Americans suffer from heart failure, which is when the heart becomes weak and cannot pump enough blood and oxygen throughout the body. Heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization in the elderly. Often, a variety of medications are used to provide heart-failure patients temporary relief of their debilitating symptoms. However, these medications do not improve cardiac function or halt the progression of the disease.
"Currently, heart-failure medications do not effectively address the underlying mechanisms that weaken contractile function and lead to the enlargement of heart-muscle cells," said co-senior study author Roger J. Hajjar, M.D. "Our study provides us with the key evidence we need to begin developing miR-25 as an important new therapeutic target, while adding our successful technique to block this microRNA to our growing arsenal of promising heart-failure therapies that we will further develop and test in future clinical trials."
Currently, Hajjar's laboratory is developing novel gene therapies for patients with heart failure. One therapy, currently in phase IIb/III human clinical trials, uses a modified viral vector to deliver a gene that produces SERCA2a, an enzyme found in healthy heart-muscle cells. Another therapy in preclinical development uses a disabled virus to deliver a gene called SUMO-1, which shrinks enlarged heart-muscle cells and improves cardiac function.
About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of diseases and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery and stem-cell technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs 1,200 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at http://www.sanfordburnham.org.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12 minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org/.
About the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is a premier research organization dedicated to educating tomorrow's technology leaders and conducting leading edge research that drives innovation for the benefit of society. The Jacobs School's Department of Bioengineering is ranked in the top 3 of its kind in the nation, according to various rankings. The bioengineering department is a world leader, focused on the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease through bioengineering analysis, systems biology and regenerative medicine.
Susan Gammon | EurekAlert!
New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Alzheimer’s: Cellular Mechanism Provides Explanation Model for Declining Memory Performance
21.09.2016 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.
In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...
Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.
K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...
23.09.2016 | Event News
20.09.2016 | Event News
16.09.2016 | Event News
23.09.2016 | Life Sciences
23.09.2016 | Health and Medicine
23.09.2016 | Life Sciences