Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common thread links multiple human cognitive disorders

Date:
February 15, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A new study reveals that a common underlying mechanism is shared by a group of previously unrelated disorders which all cause complex defects in brain development and function. It helps to explain why these different chromatin abnormalities all interfere with proper gene expression patterns necessary for normal development and mature brain function.

A new study reveals that a common underlying mechanism is shared by a group of previously unrelated disorders which all cause complex defects in brain development and function. Rett syndrome (RTT), Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) and Alpha-Thalassemia mental Retardation, X-linked syndrome (ATR-X) have each been linked with distinct abnormalities in chromatin, the spools of proteins and DNA that make up chromosomes and control how genetic information is read in a cell.

Related Articles


Now, research, published in the February 16th issue of the journal Developmental Cell, helps to explain why these different chromatin abnormalities all interfere with proper gene expression patterns necessary for normal development and mature brain function.

"Although clearly distinct from one another, human developmental disorders that are linked with chromatin dysfunction often share similar cognitive clinical features," explains senior study author, Dr. Nathalie Bιrubι from the University of Western Ontario. "Whether the overlapping cognitive symptoms are due to underlying interlinked molecular mechanisms is still poorly understood." Her work now demonstrates that chromatin proteins defective in RTT, CdLS, and ATR-X syndromes are all associated with each other -- and are required for one another's function -- at certain "imprinted genes" in the developing mouse brain. Imprinted genes are a relatively rare type of gene that carries different information depending on whether it is inherited from the mother or the father. The results support the conclusion that ATRX (the chromatin protein that is defective in ATR-X syndrome) and its binding partners regulate expression of imprinted genes, and likely other genes required for normal brain development, by controlling chromatin structure.

"Our findings provide the first glimpse of the cooperation between ATRX and multiple other disease proteins in the regulation of common gene targets, perhaps explaining similarities between the associated human syndromes," says Dr. Bιrubι. "The failure to properly suppress genes that are essential during embryonic development, but potentially detrimental in the mature brain, might contribute to cognitive deficiencies characteristic of RTT, CdLS and ATR-X syndromes. Further studies are needed to gain a better understanding of the specific role of these chromatin proteins and the molecular pathogenesis of the associated human disorders."

The researchers include Kristin D. Kernohan, University of Western Ontario, Victoria Research Laboratories, London, Ontario, Canada; Yan Jiang, University of Western Ontario, Victoria Research Laboratories, London, Ontario, Canada; Deanna C. Tremblay, University of Western Ontario, Victoria Research Laboratories, London, Ontario, Canada; Anne C. Bonvissuto, University of Western Ontario, Victoria Research Laboratories, London, Ontario, Canada; James H. Eubanks, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, Canada; Mellissa R.W. Mann, University of Western Ontario, Victoria Research Laboratories, London, Ontario, Canada; and Nathalie G. Berube΄, University of Western Ontario, Victoria Research Laboratories, London, Ontario, Canada.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Common thread links multiple human cognitive disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215122819.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, February 15). Common thread links multiple human cognitive disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215122819.htm
Cell Press. "Common thread links multiple human cognitive disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215122819.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. 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:

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