Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clues To Cystic Fibrosis Gene Dysfunction And Gastrointestinal Disease Discovered

Date:
December 13, 2007
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
Researchers discover a new regulatory element in a region of the cystic fibrosis gene that can control the gene's expression in the gastrointestinal tract, offering new insight into it's role in the development of digestive diseases.

A new study by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital, the pediatric division of Rhode Island Hospital, and Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, offers new insight into the role that the cystic fibrosis gene plays in the development of gastrointestinal disease.

The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene codes for a protein also known as CFTR. Mutations of this protein are associated with cystic fibrosis (CF) and a range of digestive diseases, such as inflammation of the pancreas, that can be severe and debilitating and can occur even in patients without CF. Yet the underlying mechanism by which CFTR gene dysfunction causes disease is poorly understood, limiting potential treatment options.

In the December 15th issue of the Biochemical Journal, scientists report the discovery of a new regulatory element in a region of the CFTR gene that can control the gene's expression in the gastrointestinal tract. They also identified three important and active regulatory factors at this site that are known to control major aspects of intestinal cell regulation, including cell differentiation and growth.

"We hope that these findings will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of how CFTR gene dysfunction can cause such a wide range of disease, eventually enabling us to develop effective treatments for cystic fibrosis and other gastrointestinal diseases," said lead author Thankam Paul, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Hasbro Children's Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

The CFTR protein resides in the surface of cells lining the digestive system, lungs and sweat glands. In normal cells, it acts as an ion channel that transports chloride into and out of cells. It also controls the regulation of other transport pathways regulating the passage of fluid and bicarbonate across cell membranes.

Previous research indicates that DNA sequence variations (or mutations) alone do not explain CFTR-related gastrointestinal disease patterns; rather, epigenetic modifiers, or changes that leave the gene's sequence of DNA intact, influence CFTR expression.

Paul and colleagues sought to define regions within the CFTR gene that correlate with histone acetylation, a process that modifies DNA-packaging proteins. After identifying a region associated with acute acetylation of histone H4, one of the major core histones, they conducted further tests which linked this process to active intestinal CFTR expression and occupation by regulatory factors known as HNF1a, Cdx2 and Tcf4. The combined activity of these factors appears to modify the architecture of chromatin, the form in which DNA is packaged in the cell, leading to alterations of CFTR expression.

"Our findings suggest the therapeutic potential of histone modification strategies to treat CFTR-associated disease by selectively enhancing CFTR expression," said Neal LeLeiko, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and director of the division of gastroenterology, nutrition and liver diseases at Hasbro Children's Hospital. He is also a professor of pediatrics at Alpert Medical School.

The study's senior author was Martin J. Walsh, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Co-authors were Sanjeev Khurana, M.D., of Hasbro Children's Hospital and Alpert Medical School, and SiDe Li, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lifespan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Clues To Cystic Fibrosis Gene Dysfunction And Gastrointestinal Disease Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213120958.htm>.
Lifespan. (2007, December 13). Clues To Cystic Fibrosis Gene Dysfunction And Gastrointestinal Disease Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213120958.htm
Lifespan. "Clues To Cystic Fibrosis Gene Dysfunction And Gastrointestinal Disease Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213120958.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. 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