Fruit fly study points to treatment for fragile X syndrome

The first evidence for a possible treatment for Fragile X syndrome, one of the leading inherited causes of mental retardation, has emerged from experiments with a mutant fruit fly that exhibits characteristics of the disorder. The disorder affects one in 6000 births and also causes accompanying sleep disorders, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, aggression, and autistic behavior.

Researchers Sean M.J. McBride from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Thomas A. Jongens from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and their colleagues studied a mutant strain of the fruit fly Drosophila that lacks the fly version of the same gene that is mutated in humans with Fragile X syndrome. The gene, FMRP, codes for a protein that binds specific messenger RNAs--carriers of genetic information in the cell--and enables them to function properly.

The mutant flies lack the ability of normal flies to adjust courtship behavior that is dependent on learning and memory. In such conditioned courtship, a male fly learns to modify his courtship behavior--including following the female, vibrating a wing, tapping the female, and attempting to copulate--according to the response of the female.

Studies of a mouse lacking the Fragile X gene had revealed that it showed increased activity of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) on the surface of neurons. This heightened receptor activity compromises the ability of the neurons to function properly in learning and memory. Such receptors are the receiving molecules for chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, launched from one neuron to another to trigger nerve impulses in the receiving neuron.

Reasoning that mGluR hyperactivity might underlie many of the pathologies of Fragile X syndrome, McBride and his colleagues tested whether drugs that blocked the receptor's activity might restore normal function in the mutant fly. Among these drugs was lithium, which is known to affect glutamate recept

Contact: Heidi Hardman
Cell Press

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fruit fly gene from out of nowhere is discovered
2. Fruit fly research may clean up conventional impressions of biology
3. Fruit bats are not blind as a bat
4. Survival of the rarest: Fruit flies shed light on the evolution of behavior
5. Fruit fly gene research may shed light on human disease processes
6. Fruit flies may pave way to new treatments for age-related heart disease
7. Fruit flies and global warming -- some like it hot
8. Fruit fly dating game provides clues to our reproductive prowess
9. Fruit juice intake among preschool children not associated with weight
10. Fruit fly study identifies gene mutation that regulates sensitivity to alcohol
11. Fruit fly aggression studies have relevance to humans, animals

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... ... company developing novel pharmaceuticals targeting mitochondria, in partnership with Essex Bio-Technology, a ... its pivotal U.S. Phase 3 VISTA-2 study of SkQ1 ophthalmic solution in ...
(Date:8/23/2020)... ... August 21, 2020 , ... The August edition of ... is now available on the company’s global website. Crystallography Times—an electronic newsletter published ... current news and crystallographic research. , The latest issue of Crystallography Times ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2020 , ... ... the premier conference and expo uniting life science, data science, informatics and IT ... sessions. , “In this period of uncertainty and change, Bio-IT takes the leadership ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... “We are thrilled to ... Bioactives. “It’s the only technology of its kind on the market and we were ... with the protective capacity of traditional cultured ingredients, creating a natural way to extend ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has expanded the company’s exclusive license to ... move into the point-of-care diagnostic market, focusing initially on the SARS-CoV-2 biosensor. ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... Bio-IT World has announced ... Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mission: Cure, and the ... awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... The Indoor Lab, a ... Safe Space™ for businesses of all types to ensure cleanliness, distancing and occupancy with ... , A Safe Space™ enabled business will provide a health performance index system that ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: