Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT Southwestern researchers find protein that both instigates, inhibits heart growth in mice

20.09.2002


Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered a protein that regulates growth and development of the heart from its fetal stage to adulthood.


Dr. Eric Olson and a team of researchers have discovered a protein that continuously regulates heart development in mice from the embryonic stage to adulthood.



Findings published in today’s edition of Cell report that the protein, named Homeodomain-Only Protein (HOP) by the researchers, is active in controlling heart growth at various stages of development in mice. Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and the study’s principal investigator, said the team set out to find proteins unique to the heart and study their functions. After they identified HOP, they bred mice that were genetically unable to produce the protein, with dramatic results.

"We created knockout mice lacking the gene to produce this protein, and they fell into two classes – they either died as embryos because their hearts didn’t grow, or they survived to adulthood with too many cardiac muscle cells," said Olson, director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Basic Research in Cancer and the Nearburg Family Center for Basic Research in Pediatric Oncology.


"Understanding the mechanisms that regulate growth of heart cells has important implications for eventual therapies directed toward repairing the damaged heart," Olson said.

Observed problems during the fetal stages of the mutant mice included numerous ruptures of the ventricular walls, thin heart chamber layers and blood in the fibrous tissue surrounding the heart. After birth, there were elevations – as much as 19-fold – in the number of growing cardiac muscle cells in mutant compared to wild-type mice, and gene profiling showed that 179 genes had elevated expression and 90 genes had reduced expression.

The researchers believe that HOP works by controlling levels of serum response factor (SRF), a gene-activating protein, during heart development. SRF and three sibling proteins form a group called the MADS-box, and those proteins trigger genetic activity that produces a number of organs and systems. In the case of heart development, SRF controls the number and types of cells produced, and HOP controls the activity of SRF. Without HOP, SRF can’t properly balance heart-cell proliferation and differentiation, resulting in either an underdeveloped or overdeveloped heart.

"There has to be a finely tuned balance of proliferation and differentiation of cardiac cells for normal heart development," said Olson. "There’s a lot of interest in regulating the cardiac-cell cycle because the heart can’t repair itself; it can’t regenerate cells efficiently."

While Olson and his team believe the identification of HOP and its role in heart development is important, they also believe they’ve only uncovered a small fragment of the tableau.

"We need to figure out how to regulate HOP; obviously, other signals and proteins have to be involved to dictate that," Olson said. "But HOP is an important component of a mechanism that regulates heart growth."

San Diego-based Collateral Therapeutics Inc., a company working to develop genetic treatments for heart ailments, already has licensed the research in order to explore drug-development possibilities.

Wayne Carter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.swmed.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

nachricht Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>