About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Function of Mysterious Heart Disease Gene Decoded

by Kathy Jones on April 26, 2014 at 1:30 PM
Font : A-A+

 Function of Mysterious Heart Disease Gene Decoded

A new study sheds light on a mysterious gene that likely influences cardiovascular health. The study conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is published in Cell Reports.

After five years, UOHI researchers now know how one genetic variant works and suspect that it contributes to the development of heart disease through processes that promote chronic inflammation and cell division.

Advertisement

Researchers at the Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre had initially identified a variant in a gene called SPG7 as a potential contributor to coronary artery disease several years ago, but its role in multiple health processes made it difficult to tease out how it affects heart disease.

The gene holds instructions for producing a protein called SPG7. This protein resides in mitochondria—the small power plants of cells that produce the energy cells need to function. SPG7's role is to help break down and recycle other damaged proteins within the mitochondria.
Advertisement

Normally, SPG7 requires a partner protein to activate itself and start this breakdown process. But, in people who carry the genetic variant in question, SPG7 can activate itself in certain circumstances, leading to increased production of free radicals and more rapid cell division. These factors contribute to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

"We think this variant would definitely heighten the state of inflammation, and we know that inflammation affects diabetes and heart disease," said Dr. Stewart, Principal Investigator in the Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre and senior author of the study. "Interestingly, the variant also makes people more resistant to the toxic side effects of some chemotherapy drugs."

From an evolutionary perspective, this resistance could help such a genetic variant gain a stable place in the human genome. Between 13 and 15 per cent of people of European descent possess this variant.

"The idea of mitochondria contributing to inflammation isn't new," concluded Dr. Stewart. "But what is new is that we've found one of the switches that regulate this process. We're excited, because once you know where the switches are, you can start looking for ways to turn them on and off."
Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
DNA Finger Printing Cardiac Catheterization Heart Attack Air travel: To fly or not to fly Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Silent Killer Diseases Heart Healthy Heart Lifestyle Paths to Prevent Heart Disease 

Recommended Reading
Genetic Testing of Diseases
Genetic testing helps to confirm a genetic condition in an individual and involves q complex ......
Epigenetics
In the recent years 'epigenetics' represents inheritable changes in gene expression that do not ......
Tips to Prevent Heart Attacks
Heart Attack occurs when the flow of oxygenated blood to heart muscles is hindered or stopped due .....
Air travel: To fly or not to fly
Air travel is for everyone, even those with medical conditions....
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a radiological procedure for both diagnosis and treatment of heart condit...
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
Lifestyle Paths to Prevent Heart Disease
Heart disease can be of many types depending upon whether they involve the heart muscles or artery w...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use