Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An important breakthrough at the IRCM associated with osteoporosis

05.10.2011
Researchers identify a new gene that could help identify individuals predisposed to developing the disease

Researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), directed by Dr. Jean Vacher, identified a new gene that modulates bone mass and that could become a risk factor for developing osteoporosis. This scientific breakthrough will be published tomorrow in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism.

Osteoporosis is a "silent" genetic disease characterized by low bone mineral density and deterioration of bone tissue, which leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture. In all cases, the disease is caused by an imbalance between the formation and resorption of bone tissue.

"The overall objective of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that determine the balance between bone formation and resorption (breakdown)," explains Dr. Vacher, Director of the Cellular Interactions and Development research unit at the IRCM. "Osteoblasts are responsible for making bones and work in synergy with osteoclasts, which reshape the bone. To gain insight into these complex mechanisms, we are studying the role of new genes that influence osteoclasts and osteoblasts."

The team of researchers recently isolated a gene that modulates osteoclasts. They found, in mice, that a loss of this gene's function leads to a significant increase in the number of osteoclasts, thereby generating an even higher level of bone resorption.

"We identified this gene as a novel modulator of bone mineral density in mice and humans," adds Dr. Vacher. "More importantly, we showed that the human gene could represent a new susceptibility factor for osteoporosis. Hence, this discovery will help identify individuals with a greater predisposition to the disease who could benefit from preventive measures."

According to Osteoporosis Canada, as many as two million Canadians suffer from osteoporosis. One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis, and so does one in eight men over the same age. In addition, 80 per cent of hip fractures are related to the disease. These result in death in up to 20 per cent of cases, and disability in 50 per cent of those who survive.

Mathieu Ferron, graduate student from Dr. Vacher's laboratory, is the article's first author. This research project was conducted in collaboration with scientists at Université Laval in Québec and Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis.

Research carried out at the IRCM was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). For more information on this discovery, please refer to the article summary published in Cell Metabolism.

About Dr. Jean Vacher

Jean Vacher obtained his Doctor of Science in biochemistry from the Université de Paris VII in France. He is Full IRCM Research Professor and Director of the Cellular Interactions and Development research unit. Dr. Vacher is a full research professor in the Department of Medicine (accreditation in molecular biology) at the Université de Montréal. He is also associate member of the Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine) at McGill University.

About the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)

Founded in 1967, the IRCM (www.ircm.qc.ca) is currently comprised of 35 research units in various fields, namely immunity and viral infections, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, neurobiology and development, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. It also houses three specialized research clinics, seven core facilities and three research platforms with state-of-the-art equipment. The IRCM employs 425 people and is an independent institution affiliated with the Université de Montréal. The IRCM clinic is associated to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM also maintains a long-standing association with McGill University.

Julie Langelier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ircm.qc.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>