Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene found in mice may play role in determining susceptibility to tuberculosis in humans

07.04.2005


Gene is found in the chromosomal region that influences innate immunity to tuberculosis



Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health studying tuberculosis resistance and susceptibility in animals have identified a gene in mice which plays a significant role in limiting the multiplication of intracellular pathogens Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Listeria monocytogenes inside host cells. The gene, Intracellular pathogen resistance 1 (Ipr1), found in the chromosome location known as sst1 (super susceptibility to tuberculosis 1), turns on a regulated cell death pathway of the bacteria-infected cells causing apoptosis and prevents catastrophic cell death, or necrosis. The findings appear in a paper in the April 7, 2005 issue of the journal Nature.

It is estimated that 8 million people are infected with tuberculosis annually with approximately 2 million of those dying from the lung disease per year. Yet only about 10 percent of people infected actually develop tuberculosis. Stress, malnutrition and other environmental factors significantly influence an individuals’ susceptibility to developing the disease. In addition, genetic factors have been known to play an important role in determining outcomes of tuberculosis infection in human and other mammalian hosts. However, individual host resistance genes such as Ipr1, involved in innate immunity for tuberculosis, have been difficult to pinpoint, because of a highly complex multigenic control of host immunity.


The researchers studied which genes might influence an individuals’ susceptibility to developing tuberculosis and found that an important genetic determinant of host resistance to tuberculosis is encoded within the region on mouse chromosome 1, which they named sst1. By identifying the Ipr1 gene within the sst1 region they believe they have uncovered a new mechanism that helps in limiting the possibility of developing M. tuberculosis, especially in the lungs.

Of interest, the Ipr1 gene also controls innate immunity to another intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, a parasitic disease transferred to humans generally from consuming infected animal products and that causes flu-like symptoms, swelling of the brain and for pregnant women potential loss of fetus. That suggests that the Ipr1 gene controls a general mechanism that protects against other intracellular pathogens besides M. tuberculosis. The researchers suggest that the human equivalent of Ipr1 might be a gene described as SP110 and may play a significant role in determining tuberculosis susceptibility in people.

Igor Kramnik, assistant professor of immunology and infectious disease at the Harvard School of Public Health and senior author of the study said, "The findings are encouraging and highlight the role of genetic function in determining whether a person has a high risk of developing tuberculosis. Finding a specific gene in a mouse that has a human equivalent within a highly conserved genetic region suggests that the human equivalent may also be involved in innate immunity to the disease and may further lead to development of diagnostic tests and prevention approaches." He added, "Further studies of the Ipr1 gene in a mouse model and its counterpart in humans will improve our understanding of how our immune system works during complex interactions with live, and very successful, pathogens."

Kevin C. Myron | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>