Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New test spots early signs of inherited metabolic disorders

09.01.2012
A team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, have developed a simple, reliable test for identifying biomarkers for mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS), a group of inherited metabolic disorders that are currently diagnosed in patients only after symptoms have become serious and the damage possibly irreversible.

The findings will be published online January 8 in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

MPS is caused by the absence or malfunctioning of a lysosomal enzyme required to break down and recycle complex sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans, which are used to build bone, tendons, skin and other tissues. If not degraded and removed, glycosaminoglycans can accumulate in cells and tissues, resulting in progressive, permanent damage affecting appearance, physical abilities, organ function and often mental development in young children. The effects range from mild to severe.

There are 11 known forms of MPS, each involving a different lysosomal enzyme. A number of treatments exist, including enzyme replacement therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, but efficacy depends upon diagnosing the disease and its specific form as early as possible. That has been problematic, said Jeffrey D. Esko, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center at UC San Diego.

"The typical time from seeing first symptoms to diagnosis of MPS is about three years. Since the early signs of disease are common childhood issues like ear infections and learning disorders, the disease is usually not immediately recognized," Esko said.

"A child often has multiple visits with their pediatrician. Eventually they are referred to a metabolic disease specialist, where rare diseases are considered. It takes an expert to identify MPS and its most likely form in each patient. Every subclass of MPS has its own specific diagnostic test, so developing better diagnostics is an essential part of effective treatment. "

In their paper, the scientists describe an innovative method to detect tell-tale carbohydrate structures specific to glycosaminoglycans in the cells, blood and urine of MPS patients. The biomarker assay identifies all known forms of the disease.

Esko is collaborating with Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biotechnology company, to develop a commercial diagnostic assay for differentiating forms of MPS from urine and blood samples, a screening test for newborns and a tool for measuring the biochemical response of MPS patients to existing and novel therapies.

"Since the severity of the disease is highly variable among patients, this could provide a tool that a doctor can use to optimize dosing or treatment," said Brett Crawford, Vice President for Research at Zacharon. "Currently, all patients are treated with the same dose of drug."

The biomarker test may also be used to discover new forms of MPS and better characterize existing ones.

Co-authors include Roger Lawrence and William C. Lamanna, UCSD Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Glycobiology Research and Training Center; Jillian R. Brown, James R. Beitel and Brett E. Crawford, Zacharon Pharmaceuticals; Geert-Jan Boones and Kanar Al-Mafraji, University of Georgia, Athens.

Funding for this research came, in part, from the National Institutes of Health, a Kirschstein National Research Service Award and the National MPS Society.

Scott LaFee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular motors run in unison in a metal-organic framework
20.03.2019 | University of Groningen

nachricht Active substance from plant slows down aggressive eye cancer
20.03.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular motors run in unison in a metal-organic framework

20.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Active substance from plant slows down aggressive eye cancer

20.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Novel sensor system improves reliability of high-temperature humidity measurements

20.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>