Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mapping heart disease: Researchers uncover genes that may dramatically affect heart health

Date:
April 2, 2010
Source:
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Summary:
Studying Drosophila (fruit flies), an international team investigated 7,061 genes and built a detailed map that shows how a portion of these genes contribute to heart function and disease. Importantly, the researchers identified many genes that had not previously been associated with heart disease.

Though heart disease is a major cause of disability and death, very little is understood about its genetic underpinnings. Recently, an international team of investigators at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and other organizations shed new light on the subject. Studying Drosophila (fruit flies), the team investigated 7061 genes and built a detailed map that shows how a portion of these genes contribute to heart function and disease.

Related Articles


Importantly, the researchers identified many genes that had not previously been associated with heart disease.

The research is being published as the cover story in the April 2 issue of Cell.

Using RNAi technology -- which selectively knocks out genes so researchers can study their function -- the team found nearly 500 genes that when inhibited cause flies to experience heart problems while under stress. In particular, the team found that a protein complex called CCR4-Not has a role in heart function. Turning off CCR4-Not complex genes caused heart muscle abnormalities (cardiomyopathies) in both flies and mice. These findings provide new insights into human health, as a common mutation in the human NOT3 gene is associated with a heart condition that often leads to lethal arrhythmias or sudden cardiac death.

"Our work on flies has identified a possible cause of human heart disease that the human genetic screens had missed," said co-lead researcher Dr. Josef Penninger, of IMBA.

The creation of this genetic map is only the beginning. The researchers identified many genes with no known function that may, when malfunctioning, predispose humans to heart disease. Much work needs to be done to determine the mechanisms by which these genes influence heart health.

"We already established that genes responsible for making the heart in fruit flies have a similar role in humans; and now we find that many of the genes that help the heart maintain normal function also prevent heart disease in humans," said co-lead researcher Rolf Bodmer, Ph.D., director of the Development and Aging program at Sanford-Burnham.

This international team included lead scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna, Austria), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Akita University (Japan). They were assisted by researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Toronto General Hospital, Keio University School of Medicine (Japan), Strand Life Sciences (Bangalore, India), New York University, Institute of Human Genetics (Munich, Germany), General Central Hospital (Bolzano, Italy) and the University of Lübeck (Germany).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Gregory Neely, Keiji Kuba, Anthony Cammarato, Kazuya Isobe, Sabine Amann, Liyong Zhang, Mitsushige Murata, Lisa Elmén, Vaijayanti Gupta, Suchir Arora, Rinku Sarangi, Debasis Dan, Susumu Fujisawa, Takako Usami, Cui-ping Xia, Alex C. Keene, Nakissa N. Alayari, Hiroyuki Yamakawa, Ulrich Elling, Christian Berger, Maria Novatchkova, Rubina Koglgruber, Keiichi Fukuda, Hiroshi Nishina, Mitsuaki Isobe, J. Andrew Pospisilik, Yumiko Imai, Arne Pfeufer, Andrew A. Hicks, Peter P. Pramstaller, Sai Subramaniam, Akinori Kimura, Karen Ocorr, Rolf Bodmer, Josef M. Penninger. A Global In Vivo Drosophila RNAi Screen Identifies NOT3 as a Conserved Regulator of Heart Function. Cell, 2010; 141 (1): 142-153 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.02.023

Cite This Page:

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. "Mapping heart disease: Researchers uncover genes that may dramatically affect heart health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401173834.htm>.
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. (2010, April 2). Mapping heart disease: Researchers uncover genes that may dramatically affect heart health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401173834.htm
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. "Mapping heart disease: Researchers uncover genes that may dramatically affect heart health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401173834.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
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