Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Zeroing in on heart disease: Innovative strategy pinpoints genes underlying cardiovascular disease risk

Date:
February 28, 2013
Source:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Summary:
Studies screening the genome of hundreds of thousands of individuals (known as Genome-wide association studies or GWAS) have linked more than 100 regions in the genome to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Researchers are taking these results one step further by pinpointing the exact genes that could have a role in the onset of the disease.

Cells stained for observation by fluorescence microscopy to discover cholesterol-regulatory genes (top left: cholesterol (orange) uptake by cells; top right: free cholesterol (blue) in cells; bottom left: localisation of a protein (green) involved in cholesterol regulation; bottom right: automated image-analysis showing the cell outer membrane (grey) and the cholesterol (white)).
Credit: EMBL/Peter Blattmann and University of Heidelberg/Christian Schuberth

Studies screening the genome of hundreds of thousands of individuals (known as Genome-wide association studies or GWAS) have linked more than 100 regions in the genome to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the University of Heidelberg, through the joint Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU), are taking these results one step further by pinpointing the exact genes that could have a role in the onset of the disease.

Related Articles


Their findings are published today in the online journal PLoS Genetics.

The scientists used a technology called "RNA interference" that can selectively decrease the level of expression of targeted genes. By observing what changes, if any, this decrease causes in cells, researchers can identify the function of the genes and, on a larger scale, objectively test the function of many genes in parallel.

Cholesterol levels in the blood are one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. They are controlled by the amount of cholesterol that cells can take in -- thus removing it from the blood -- and metabolise. The researchers used RNA interference to test the function of each of the genes within 56 regions previously identified by GWAS as being linked with cardiovascular disease. They selectively decreased their action and measured what, if any, changes this induced in cholesterol metabolism. From this they could deduce which of the genes are most likely to be involved in the onset of the disease.

"This is the first wide-scale RNA interference study that follows up on GWAS. It has proven its potential by narrowing down a large list of candidate genes to the few with an important function that we can now focus on in future in-depth studies," explains Rainer Pepperkok at EMBL, who co-led the study with Heiko Runz at the University of Heidelberg.

"In principle, our approach can be applied to any disease that has an observable effect on cells," adds Heiko Runz. "The genes identified here may further our understanding of the mechanisms leading to cardiovascular disease and allow us to improve its prediction and diagnosis."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Blattmann P, Schuberth C, Pepperkok R, Runz H. RNAi–Based Functional Profiling of Loci from Blood Lipid Genome-Wide Association Studies Identifies Genes with Cholesterol-Regulatory Function. PLoS Genetics, 2013; 9 (2): e1003338 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003338

Cite This Page:

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Zeroing in on heart disease: Innovative strategy pinpoints genes underlying cardiovascular disease risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228171405.htm>.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). (2013, February 28). Zeroing in on heart disease: Innovative strategy pinpoints genes underlying cardiovascular disease risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228171405.htm
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Zeroing in on heart disease: Innovative strategy pinpoints genes underlying cardiovascular disease risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228171405.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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