Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clues to common birth defect found in gene expression data

Date:
February 6, 2012
Source:
Jackson Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have uncovered 27 new candidate genes for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a common and often deadly birth defect. Their sophisticated data-filtering strategy offers a new, efficient and potentially game-changing approach to gene discovery.

Researchers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), The Jackson Laboratory and other institutes have uncovered 27 new candidate genes for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a common and often deadly birth defect.

Their sophisticated data-filtering strategy, which uses gene expression during normal development as a starting point, offers a new, efficient and potentially game-changing approach to gene discovery.

Babies born with CDH -- representing one in every 3,000 live births -- have a hole in the diaphragm that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity, and may die due to poor growth of the lung.

Patricia K. Donahoe, M.D., director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories at MGHfC, explained, "That hole can be fixed surgically if CDH has been diagnosed in time. But even surgery does not rescue the infants' impaired lung development, which often leads to fatal respiratory complications." Patients who survive into adulthood "tend to have a lot of ongoing health issues," she noted.

Donahoe and her colleagues Meaghan Russell, Ph.D., and Mauro Longoni, M.D., and Jackson Laboratory Professor Carol J. Bult, Ph.D., a computational biologist, led the research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team had two goals: to identify the genes and gene networks that cause the hole in the diaphragm in order to develop new diagnostics and preventive treatments, and to learn more about how healthy lungs form to boost lung development in post-operative infant patients.

Bult and her Jackson colleague Julie Wells, Ph.D., generated gene expression profiles -- snapshots of gene activity -- for embryonic mouse diaphragms at multiple stages of development. Using algorithms designed by the JAX-MGH team, they used these data to then predict genes likely to contribute to diaphragm defects.

Bult said, "We asked which genes in our developmental data sets work together in common pathways, and which of these pathways contain previously known CDH genes from human studies and mouse models?"

To build gene networks, the researchers used the Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) data base resource based at The Jackson Laboratory. MGI, freely available to the research community, maintains the most comprehensive collection of mouse genetic and genomic information.

The researchers' filtering strategy identified 27 new candidate genes for CDH. When the investigators examined the diaphragms of knockout mice for one of these candidate genes -- pre-B cell leukemia transcription factor 1 or Pbx1 -- they found previously unreported diaphragmatic defects, confirming the prediction.

The next step in the project is to screen patients for mutations in Pbx1 using the collection of CDH patient data and DNA that MGHfC and Children's Hospital Boston have been accumulating for years in collaboration with hospitals from around the world.

The research reported in the paper opens the door "not only to further research to explore the effects of the other 26 CDH candidate genes," Bult said, "but to a disease gene identification and prioritization strategy for CDH, an approach that can be extended to other diseases and developmental anomalies."

MassGeneral Hospital for Children is the pediatric service of Massachusetts General Hospital (www.massgeneral.org), the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, reproductive biology, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., a future institute in Farmington, Conn., and a total staff of about 1,400. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Russell et al. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia candidate genes derived from embryonic transcriptomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1121621109

Cite This Page:

Jackson Laboratory. "Clues to common birth defect found in gene expression data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206154120.htm>.
Jackson Laboratory. (2012, February 6). Clues to common birth defect found in gene expression data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206154120.htm
Jackson Laboratory. "Clues to common birth defect found in gene expression data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206154120.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 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:
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