Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCSF Team Identifies Gene Crucial To Blood Pressure

Date:
June 16, 1999
Source:
University Of California San Francisco
Summary:
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco have identified a gene that is critical in controlling blood pressure, a finding that could help in developing more effective therapies for hypertension.

SAN DIEGO -- Researchers from the University of CaliforniaSan Francisco have identified a gene that is critical incontrolling blood pressure, a finding that could help indeveloping more effective therapies for hypertension.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects nearly 60million American adults and is a leading cause of kidneyfailure. If uncontrolled, it also can damage major organs,such as the heart, brain, and arteries.

The gene, called sgk, mediates the effects of aldosterone, akey hormone for regulating sodium and water levelsthroughout the body. A disruption in the balance of thesefactors can result in blood pressure problems.

The researchers already knew that aldosterone was essentialto maintaining normal blood pressure, but its definitivelink with the sgk gene had not been made.

"Now that we know that sgk mediates aldosterone's effects,we can begin to devise ways of blocking its action. Thisholds the promise of providing better treatments for themillions of people with salt-sensitive hypertension," saidDavid Pearce, MD, UCSF assistant professor of medicine andcellular and molecular pharmacology, who treats patients atSan Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

Pearce, who headed the research team, presented the findingshere today (June 13) at the annual meeting of The EndocrineSociety.

While hypertension is the most common blood pressuredisorder, there also are thousands of American adults whosuffer from low blood pressure, which can cause serioushealth consequences. Development of new treatments targetedat the regulation of sgk would be effective for both ofthese conditions, according to Pearce.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls ofarteries in the body as it circulates to supply nutritionand oxygen to cells. Too high and the heart has to work toohard to pump blood through the vascular system; too low andblood doesn't move efficiently to all parts of the body.

The research team conducted the study in laboratory cellcultures using a cell line from animal kidney. The kidneyis a key organ in blood pressure regulation because itserves as the site where sodium is forwarded, as necessary,into the urine for elimination from the body. Sodium causesthe body to retain water, and blood is predominantly water.

High levels of sodium, therefore, can result in a highvolume of circulating blood. This condition in combinationwith already constricted blood vessels can lead to highblood pressure, Pearce explained. Aldosterone is the mostimportant member of a group of hormones calledmineralocorticoids, whose functions include transport ofsodium.

"Where sodium goes, so goes water, so aldosterone is key tothe maintenance of normal blood pressure," said Pearce.

The researchers used the technique called polymerase chainreaction, or PCR, to produce an unlimited quantity of DNAfor their study. The next step in their research is tolearn the factors that cause the skg gene to respond toaldosterone and if this process is affected by genemutations in patients, according to Pearce.

Study co-investigators are Aditi Bhargava, PhD; Sei-yuChen, PhD; David Rozansky, MD, PhD; Onno C. Meijer, PhD; andJim Wang, MD, all of UCSF; Patricia Buse, PhD, and GaryFirestone, PhD, of UC Berkeley; and Luca Mastroberardino,PhD, and Francois Verrey, MD, of the University of Zurich,Switzerland.

The research was supported in part by a grant from NationalInstitute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California San Francisco. "UCSF Team Identifies Gene Crucial To Blood Pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990616063849.htm>.
University Of California San Francisco. (1999, June 16). UCSF Team Identifies Gene Crucial To Blood Pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990616063849.htm
University Of California San Francisco. "UCSF Team Identifies Gene Crucial To Blood Pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990616063849.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins