An international collaboration led by IDIBELL identifies the first disease caused by a mutation in myoglobin
Researchers of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) led by Dr. Montse Olivé have described in Nature Communications a new muscular disease caused by a mutation in the myoglobin gene.
Institute (IDIBELL) led by Dr. Montse Olivé have described in Nature Communications a new muscular disease caused by a mutation in the myoglobin gene. The study has been possible thanks to a collaboration with a group of geneticists from the University of Western Australia (UWA), led by Prof. Nigel Laing, and researchers from the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden).
Credit: Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL)
The study has been possible thanks to a collaboration with a group of geneticists from the University of Western Australia (UWA), led by Prof. Nigel Laing, and researchers from the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden).
Myoglobin, the protein that gives muscles their red colour, has as its main function the transportation and intracellular storage of oxygen, acting as an oxygen reservoir when there are low levels (hypoxia) or a total lack thereof (anoxia). It also acts as scavenger of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species, avoiding cell damage due to oxidative stress.
"This is the first time that a disease caused by a mutation in the myoglobin gene has been identified", says Montse Olivé, doctor at the Bellvitge University Hospital, responsible for the muscular disease area and researcher of the Human Molecular Genetics group of the Genes, Disease and Therapy at IDIBELL.
"We have identified the same mutation in several members of 6 unrelated European families, all of whom had the same symptoms and showed very characteristic lesions - called sarcoplasmic bodies - in muscle biopsies," adds Dr Olivé.
Myoglobinopathy, the name that has been proposed for the new disease, manifests between the fourth and fifth decade of life. It causes a progressive weakness of the axial and limb muscles, and in more advanced stages affects the respiratory musculature and the heart.
The study has also involved, among others, researchers from the ALBA synchrotron and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). The infrared microscopy of the MIRAS beamline at the synchrotron, which is able to characterize the chemical composition and structure of proteins, allowed researchers to demonstrate the presence of oxidized lipids in the damaged muscle cells. "We have observed that sarcoplasmic bodies correspond to oxidized lipids and misfolded proteins", says Nuria Benseny, a postdoctoral researcher at the ALBA synchrotron.
Finally, researchers from the universities of Modena and Vienna have identified an alteration in the biochemical and thermodynamic properties of the mutated myoglobin, including an alteration in the oxygen-binding capacity that contributes to the formation of the lipid and protein aggregates that are found in the muscles of the patients.
This discovery has allowed to establish the diagnosis for some patients after many years and will allow researchers to focus on finding a cure for this disease from now on.
Gemma Fornons | EurekAlert!
Deep stimulation improves cognitive control by augmenting brain rhythms
04.04.2019 | Picower Institute at MIT
Black nanoparticles slow the growth of tumors
04.04.2019 | Technische Universität München
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna
A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences
18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences