Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein injection points to muscular dystrophy treatment

27.11.2012
Scientists have discovered that injecting a novel human protein into muscle affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy significantly increases its size and strength, findings that could lead to a therapy akin to the use of insulin by diabetics.

These results were published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Julia von Maltzahn and Dr. Michael Rudnicki, the Ottawa scientist who discovered muscle stem cells in adults.

"This is an unprecedented and dramatic restoration in muscle strength," says Dr. Rudnicki, a senior scientist and director for the Regenerative Medicine Program and Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

"We know from our previous work that this protein, called Wnt7a, promotes the growth and repair of healthy muscle tissue. In this study we show the same types of improvement in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We found that Wnt7a injections increased muscle strength almost two-fold, to nearly normal levels. We also found that the size of the muscle fibre increased and there was less muscle damage, compared to mice not given Wnt7a."

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that affects one of every 3,500 newborn males. In Canada, all types of muscular dystrophy affect more than 50,000 people. The disease often progresses to a state where the muscles are so depleted that the person dies due to an inability to breath. For people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this usually happens in their 20s or 30s.

"This is also exciting because we think it's a therapeutic approach that could apply to other muscle-wasting diseases," says Dr. Rudnicki.

Dr. Rudnicki's lab is a world leader in research on muscle stem cells. They have contributed significantly to our understanding of how these cells work at the molecular level. This basic research, which takes place in OHRI's multidisciplinary environment of collaboration with clinicians, led to the identification of Wnt7a as a promising candidate to help people with this muscle wasting disease.

Biotechnology partner, Fate Therapeutics is currently developing Wnt7a-based therapeutic candidates for treatment of muscular dystrophy and atrophy. Preclinical assessments are ongoing and the company plans to initiate clinical trials in the near future.

The full article, "Wnt7a treatment ameliorates muscular dystrophy," is available online ahead of print through the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences site.

This research was supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Fate Therapeutics and the Canada Research Chair Program. All research at OHRI is also supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

Media Contact
Paddy Moore
Manager, Communications and Public Relations,
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-798-5555 ext. 73687
613-794-6912 (cell)
padmoore@ohri.ca
Néomie Duval
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
613-562-5800 x2981
613-863-7221 (cell)
neomie.duval@uOttawa.ca
About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university's Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Research at OHRI is supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. www.ohri.ca
About the University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. It is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development.

Paddy Moore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohri.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | 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

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>