Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research breakthrough identifies 291 genes associated with asthma

16.06.2003


Pathway identified to target for drug development



In one of the most significant breakthroughs in allergic diseases research in recent years, an international group of scientists led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have discovered 291 genes associated with asthma. The Cincinnati Children’s scientists used gene chip analysis to identify these genes they refer to as "asthma signature genes," and they discovered a new and promising pathway involving one particular gene, arginase, to target for drug development.
Prior to this study, which is published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, scientists thought that only a dozen or so genes were implicated in asthma. The discovery that asthma involves the interplay of 291 genes "has tremendous therapeutic and diagnostic implications," says Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, director of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s and the study’s senior author.

"Each gene may represent a target for drug development," says Dr. Rothenberg. "But one gene in particular, arginase, regulates pathways that we think are critical in an asthmatic reaction. Regardless of the specific allergen, arginase seems to be involved. We hope to come up with a treatment for asthma by targeting arginase."



The study, which involved scientists in the United States, Canada and Australia, capitalized on both the human and mouse genome projects. Dr. Rothenberg and lead authors Nives Zimmermann, MD, and Nina King, MD, PhD, took lung tissue from mice with experimental models of asthma induced by different allergens. After analyzing the tissue with DNA microarrays, also known as gene chips, they discovered that the expression of 6.5 percent of the mouse genome was altered in an asthmatic lung.

"The identification of a series of asthma signature genes provides an unprecedented opportunity to fully understand the exact processes involved in asthma and other allergic diseases," says Dr. Rothenberg. "These results are significant because they present a completely new approach to treating and diagnosing asthma."

The Cincinnati Children’s researchers identified multiple new pathways involved in asthma. One such process involved the cellular machinery that processes arginine -- an amino acid normally consumed in the diet. Once processed in the body, arginine can be used to synthesize critical molecules such as growth factors, connective tissue proteins and nitric oxide.

In particular, the arginine transporter (the protein that carries it across the cell membrane) and the enzymes that act on it, arginase I and arginase II, were found to play an important role. The researchers found that the breakdown of arginine is shifted away from its normal pathway during asthma due to production of arginase. The researchers then compared these mouse DNA results to samples of asthmatic lung tissue taken from humans and showed that the arginase pathway was important in human disease.

"Because arginase is upstream in regulating pathways that are critical in allergic reactions, blocking the arginase pathway may benefit patients regardless of which gene is implicated in their asthma," says Dr. Zimmermann.

"With the publishing of these results, the asthma signature genes will now become available to the public over the worldwide web," adds Dr. Rothenberg. "It’s our hope that the release of these results will fuel the pharmaceutical industry, as well as other researchers, to take new approaches in asthma research," he says.

In recent years, the incidence of asthma and allergies has sky-rocketed for unclear reasons. More than 17 million Americans are currently estimated to have asthma, and more than 70 percent of people with asthma also suffer from allergies. Asthma affects more than 4.8 million children and adolescents under the age of 18. Asthma rates in children under the age of five increased more than 160 percent from 1980-1994.


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is a 373-bed institution dedicated to the pursuit of perfect health care. It is the only pediatric organization in the United States to receive the prestigious Pursuing Perfection grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children’s vision is to be the leader in improving child health, through patient care, research and education. Additional information about Cincinnati Children’s can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org.

Additional Contact:
Amy Caruso, 513-636-5637

Jim Feuer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht Alzheimer’s: Cellular Mechanism Provides Explanation Model for Declining Memory Performance
21.09.2016 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

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: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

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...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

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...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

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...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

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...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

New leukemia treatment offers hope

23.09.2016 | Health and Medicine

Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>