HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UT Southwestern researchers find gene mutation that leads to 'broken hearts'

Dallas -- July 20, 2006 -- Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a group of fruit fly gene mutations responsible for "broken hearts" in the embryonic stages of development, a discovery that could help identify genes that cause human heart defects.

"We engineered a fruit fly so that the heart would glow in the dark and found a new type of malformation, completely unexpectedly," said Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study appearing in today's issue of Science. "We coined the term 'brokenhearted' for this defect because two kinds of cardiac cells separated, thus causing the heart to fall apart, with a loss of heart function and embryonic death."

The heart is the first organ to form and function in the embryo. Abnormalities in the complex process of heart formation result in congenital heart defects, the most common birth defects in humans afflicting about 1 percent of newborns. Because the events of heart formation are very similar throughout the animal world, the fruit fly is a useful model to study the causes of heart defects in mammals, Dr. Olson said.

The researchers found that mutations in genes encoding enzymes in a pathway for synthesis of a small lipid caused this broken heart defect in fruit flies. One of these enzymes, HMG CoA reductase, also plays a key role in the synthesis of cholesterol in humans. In fruit flies, these enzymes are required to generate a small lipid to modify a signaling protein, which is required for heart formation. The study suggests the involvement of the same biochemical pathway in human heart formation and congenital heart disease.

"We were surprised to discover that a group of enzymes involved in lipid synthesis plays a previously unrecognized role in assembling the heart. The same mechanism is likely to be involved in human-heart development," said Dr. Olson, director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamo
'"/>

Contact: Katherine Morales
katherine.morales@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
20-Jul-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. UT Southwestern joins national clinical trial to uncover long-term effects of West Nile virus
2. UT Southwestern leaders to receive national award for medical research accomplishments
3. UT Southwestern scientist receives NIH Directors Pioneer Award
4. UT Southwestern scientist named Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research
5. Plague agent helps UT Southwestern researchers find novel signaling system in cells
6. One of the nations first 7-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging devices for human studies planned at UT Southwestern Medical Center
7. DNA end caps may lead to cancer treatments, UT Southwestern researchers report
8. UT Southwestern scientist honored among best in Texas research
9. UT Southwestern scientist receives international award for pediatric research
10. UT Southwestern physician-researcher wins international award for lipid research
11. UT Southwestern scientist elected to National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/9/2016)... -- Elevay is currently known as the ... high net worth professionals seeking travel for work   ... there is still no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. ... deal with a firm handshake. This is why wealthy ... citizenship via investment programs like those offered by the ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... cuvettes are used in leading laboratories all over the globe. Their cute firefly ... addition to manufacturing awesome cuvettes, FireflySci makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Ankle ... plating options designed to address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. This ... Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of seven plate families that span ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of Athens ... for mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead to one good one. ... to read it now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug ... the company’s second orphan drug designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: