Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fruit Fly Research May Lead To Better Understanding Of Human Heart Disease

Date:
December 5, 2008
Source:
Burnham Institute
Summary:
Researchers have shown in both fruit flies and humans that genes involved in embryonic heart development are also integral to adult heart function.

Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) have shown in both fruit flies and humans that genes involved in embryonic heart development are also integral to adult heart function. The study, led by Rolf Bodmer, Ph.D., was published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Bodmer's lab has discovered that in the fruit fly Drosophila, interactions between cardiac nmr genes (TBX20 in humans) and other transcription factors, are involved in regulating cardiac performance, rhythm and heart muscle structure. TBX20, along with other congenital heart disease genes, has been previously shown to be critical to the development of the embryonic heart first in flies and subsequently in mouse models. However, this study is the first indication that nmr/TBX20 also plays a role in adult heart function. These genes are highly conserved from flies to humans and Bodmer's research showed that some human individuals with structural congenital heart abnormalities, as well as problems with heart function, including arrhythmias and heart failure, also exhibited TBX20 mutations.

"These studies demonstrate that Drosophila has potential as a model system for exploring the genetics underlying human heart disease and for identifying new candidate genes that potentially cause heart disease," said Dr. Bodmer.

To make the connection between human and Drosophila heart malfunction, human subjects with structural congenital heart disease, as well as heart muscle dysfunction were examined. In 96 human subjects with clinical evidence of dilated cardiomyopathy (this causes a weakened heart that cannot pump blood efficiently), DNA analysis identified three different variants of the gene TBX20, suggesting TBX20 may be involved in the development of cardiomyopathy. In addition, TBX20 variants were identified in four children with atrial septal defects.

This research was funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Burnham Institute. "Fruit Fly Research May Lead To Better Understanding Of Human Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202115652.htm>.
Burnham Institute. (2008, December 5). Fruit Fly Research May Lead To Better Understanding Of Human Heart Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202115652.htm
Burnham Institute. "Fruit Fly Research May Lead To Better Understanding Of Human Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202115652.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. 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