Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sudden Collapse Of Healthy Athletes May Be Due To Hereditary Cardiac Disease

Date:
March 8, 2009
Source:
University Hospital Heidelberg
Summary:
When young, apparently healthy athletes suddenly collapse, it can be due to hereditary cardiac disease. Researchers have now discovered a genetic modification that leads to cardiac weakness in an animal model. Just one "false" amino acid can give zebrafish a heart condition. Since the fish have a genetic makeup similar to that of humans, these defects could be critical for humans as well.

When young, apparently healthy athletes suddenly collapse, it can be due to hereditary cardiac disease. Researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital have now discovered a genetic modification that leads to cardiac weakness in an animal model. Just one “false” amino acid can give zebrafish a heart condition.

Since the fish have a genetic makeup similar to that of humans, these defects could be critical for humans as well.

Cardiac insufficiency is not just a disease that results from a heart attack or myocarditis. For young people in particular there is often an underlying genetic cause (cardiomyopathy). Some 30,000 people in Germany are affected and the disease often remains undetected for a long time. The tragic cases of athletes who suddenly collapse during training or competition are well known.

The cardiology department at the Heidelberg University Hospital (Medical Director Prof. Hugo Katus) is one of the major centers in Germany for the treatment and research of cardiac insufficiency.

For many years, the researchers in Heidelberg have been studying the zebrafish. The genetic variant that suffers from cardiomyopathy is called "Lazy Susan" and got its nickname because of its slow blood flow. Dr. Benjamin Meder and Christina Laufer from Dr. Wolfgang Rottbauer’s research group (Department of Cardiology) examined its muscle protein myosin light chain-1, which is involved in contraction of the heart muscle. They discovered the crucial change in the amino acid Serine 195, which was lost through mutation. This single change is sufficient to severely limit heart function.

Some 70 percent of the genes of zebrafish and humans are identical

Can these research results be transferred from zebrafish to humans? In the next step, the Heidelberg cardiologists plan to search for the same mutation in patients’ genes. Since approximately 70 percent of human genes are identical with those of zebrafish, the researchers are confident that a Serine 195 mutation will have a similar affect in human hearts. The researchers also hope to develop new therapies for patients. A targeted modification of the amino acid Serine could increase the activity of the actin-myosin complex and result in an increase of cardiac contractility.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Benjamin Meder, Christina Laufer, David Hassel, Steffen Just, Sabine Marquart, Britta Vogel, Alexander Hess, Mark C. Fishman, Hugo A. Katus and Wolfgang Rottbauer. A Single Serine in the Carboxy-terminus of Cardiac Essential Myosin Light Chain-1 Controls Cardiomyocyte Contractility in-Vivo. Circulation Research, Jan 22, 2009 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.108.186676

Cite This Page:

University Hospital Heidelberg. "Sudden Collapse Of Healthy Athletes May Be Due To Hereditary Cardiac Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305102717.htm>.
University Hospital Heidelberg. (2009, March 8). Sudden Collapse Of Healthy Athletes May Be Due To Hereditary Cardiac Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305102717.htm
University Hospital Heidelberg. "Sudden Collapse Of Healthy Athletes May Be Due To Hereditary Cardiac Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305102717.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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