HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Genetic model for devastating form of paraplegia suggests new treatments

A new genetic model for a motor disorder that confines an estimated 10,000 people in the United States to walkers and wheelchairs indicates that instability in the microscopic scaffolding within a key set of nerve cells is the cause of this devastating disability. The study, which is published in the July 13 issue of the journal Current Biology, provides a provocative new insight into the molecular basis of the disease called hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and suggests a new way to treat the inherited genetic disorder.

HSP--also known as familial spastic paraparesis and Strumpell-Lorrain syndrome--causes the ends of the nerves that control muscle activity to deteriorate. These nerve cells run from the brain's cerebral cortex to the spinal cord where they connect to "downstream" nerve cells that excite muscles throughout the body to control coordinated movement. HSP causes weakness, spasms and loss of function in the muscles in the lower extremities.

More than 20 genes have been linked to HSP. However, more than 40 percent of all cases have been traced to a single gene (SPG4) that produces an enzyme called spastin. Previous studies have shown that this enzyme interacts with microtubules, the tiny protein tubes that provide structural support and transport avenues within most cells. Microtubules are dynamic structures, continually growing and shrinking, and their stability is closely regulated by a number of associated proteins. In nerve cells, microtubules carry cellular components to distant regions of the cell, regulate the growth of cellular branches and provide a substrate for important protein interactions. All of these functions are critically dependent on dynamic changes in microtubule stability.

Researchers in the laboratories of Kendal Broadie at Vanderbilt University and Andrea Daga at the University of Padova, Italy, collaborated on the first studies of the role that spastin plays in nerve communication in a living organism. Th
'"/>

Contact: David F. Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University
15-Jul-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Genetic mutations linked to the practice of burning coal in homes in China
2. Genetic differences might help distinguish thyroid cancers
3. Genetic modification of linseed produces healthier omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
4. Wiley publishes Welcome to the Genome: A Users Guide to the Genetic Past, Present, and Future
5. Genetically modified bacterium as remedy for intestinal diseases
6. Genetic analysis rewrites salamanders evolutionary history
7. Genetic map of important tree genes outlined
8. Genetically-engineered marathon mouse keeps on running
9. Genetic clues found for common congenital brain disorder
10. Genetic mutation linked to more aggressive breast cancer found more often in African-Americans
11. Genetic discovery could dramatically reduce need for liver transplants in children

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2014)... Double-stapled peptide inhibits RSV infection , Respiratory ... lower respiratory tract infections, generating life-threating illness in ... preventive therapies are limited. RSV enters host cells ... a six-helix fusogenic bundle. Small interfering peptides that ... however, these peptides are highly susceptible to degradation. ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... development of stem cell therapies to cure a variety ... cell populations based on cell surface markers. Researchers from ... that is highly expressed in a type of stem ... describe in an article in BioResearch Open Access ... publishers. The article is available free on the ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... that fish consumption advisories for expecting mothers are ... like persistent organic pollutants (POPs). , The ... University of Toronto Scarborough PhD student Matt Binnington ... levels of environmental contamination, a mother,s compliance with ... body influenced exposure in her children. , Their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 2JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 3JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 4JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 5JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 6Fish consumption advisories fail to cover all types of contaminants 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... TX (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 More ... disease, and about 1 in 3 seniors will die ... source ). These jaw-dropping figures have shocked many Americans ... and, hopefully, help prevent these tragic age-related cognitive disorders. ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 The Microcompetition with ... major disease. One of these latent viruses is the Epstein ... arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease ... a study found that RA patients have high concentrations of ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2013 was a banner year of continued ... saw continued independent research led by the team at ... $1 million grant from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, ... peer reviewed journal, Amy Grant highlighted Brainwave Optimization® in ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Toronto, ON (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... an experimental new therapy for the treatment of tinnitus. ... unique tinnitus frequency, and over a period of weeks to ... Notched Sound Therapy in two forms: Notched Music and Notched ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Biohack Pure Offers 5 Tips for Increasing Memory in 2014 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 2Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 3
Cached News: