Mar. 10, 2008 Researchers have conducted a detailed molecular survey of how heart muscle proteins change over time in diseased tissue, revealing clues that may lead to earlier diagnosis of heart disease.
Despite great progress in reducing mortality, cardiomyopathies (diseases affecting heart muscle) remain one of the leading killers in the developed world. A big contributor to this mortality is that many patients only get diagnosed at later disease stages, limiting therapeutic options.
Tony Gramolini, Andrew Emili and their colleagues sought to obtain more insight into cardiomyopathy progression, so they performed a large-scale protein survey of mouse cardiac cells affected by a mutation that weakens the muscle. They compared protein profiles at 8, 16, and 24 weeks of both diseased and healthy animals.
The researchers noticed time-dependent changes in 593 proteins, around 40 of which were particularly strong. While the altered proteins affect a variety of biological pathways, an inability to maintain the proper calcium balance, leading to increased cell stress, was heavily affected. Restoring this balance might be a key to treating these heart conditions early on.
This research was recently published in Molecular And Cellular Proteomics.
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