Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UC researchers find new ways to regulate genes, reduce heart damage

24.06.2008
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are looking for ways to reduce or prevent heart damage by starting where the problem often begins: in the genes.

Following a heart attack, cells die, causing lasting damage to the heart.

Keith Jones, PhD, a researcher in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, and colleagues are trying to reduce post-heart attack damage by studying the way cells die in the heart—a process controlled by transcription factors.

Transcription factors are proteins that bind to specific parts of DNA and are part of a system that controls the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA and then to protein. Transfer of genetic information also plays a role in controlling the cycle of cells—from cell growth to cell death.

... more about:
»Cell »DNA »Heart »Jones

"We call it 'gene regulatory therapy,'" says Jones.

So far, studies have identified the role for an important group of interacting transcription factors and the genes they regulate to determine whether cells in the heart survive or die after blood flow restriction occurs.

Often, scientists use virus-like mechanisms to transfer DNA and other nucleic acids inside the body.

The "virus" takes over other healthy cells by injecting them with its DNA. The cells, then transformed, begin reproducing the virus' DNA. Eventually they swell and burst, sending multiple replicas of the virus out to conquer other cells and repeat the process.

Now, UC researchers are further investigating new, non-viral delivery mechanisms for this transfer of DNA.

"We can use non-viral delivery vehicles to transfer nucleic acids, including transcription factor decoys, to repress activation of specific transcription factors in the heart," Jones says, adding that the researchers have made this successfully work within live animal models. "This means we can block the activity of most transcription factors in the heart without having to make genetically engineered mice."

Jones will be presenting these results at the International Society for Heart Research in Cincinnati, June 17-20.

He says this delivery mechanism involves flooding the cells with "decoys" which trick the transcription factors into binding to the decoys rather than to target genes, preventing them from activating those genes.

"We can use this technology to identify the target genes and then investigate the action of these genes in the biological process," Jones says.

He says that this delivery has limitations and advantages.

"It can be used to block a factor at any point in time and is reversible," he says. "However, right now, a specific delivery route must be used to target the tissue or cell."

Jones and other researchers are hoping that this new technology will allow them to directly address the effects of gene regulation in disease, as opposed to using classical drugs that treat symptoms or have significant adverse outcomes.

"So far, this seems to cause no adverse effects in animals," he says. "We are hopeful and are working toward pre-clinical studies."

Katie Pence | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

Further reports about: Cell DNA Heart Jones

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Coat of proteins makes viruses more infectious and links them to Alzheimer's disease
27.05.2019 | Stockholm University

nachricht The Secret of the Rock Drawings
24.05.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Colliding lasers double the energy of proton beams

Researchers from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg present a new method which can double the energy of a proton beam produced by laser-based particle accelerators. The breakthrough could lead to more compact, cheaper equipment that could be useful for many applications, including proton therapy.

Proton therapy involves firing a beam of accelerated protons at cancerous tumours, killing them through irradiation. But the equipment needed is so large and...

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

AI and high-performance computing extend evolution to superconductors

27.05.2019 | Information Technology

Meteor magnets in outer space

27.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Coat of proteins makes viruses more infectious and links them to Alzheimer's disease

27.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>