About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Protein That Could Reduce Damage Caused by Heart Attack Identified

by Gopalan on September 14, 2008 at 9:28 AM
Font : A-A+

 Protein That Could Reduce Damage Caused by Heart Attack Identified

High levels of ALDH2 enzyme could stem the damage caused by lack of oxygen consequent on heart attack. And this enzyme could come in handy during bypass surgery.

Boosting levels of the ALDH2 enzyme before initiating a heart attack in mice experiments cut the amount of dead heart tissue by 60%, a study published in the Science journal said.


ALDH2 is usually involved in breaking down alcohol in the body.

During a heart attack, a clot blocks blood flow to the heart.

The lack of oxygen and build up of toxins causes tissue to die.

This is also a danger during coronary bypass surgery, when blood flow is redirected to allow surgeons to operate.

Once the researchers worked out that ALDH2 seemed to reduce damage to heart tissue they screened a variety of molecules which would increase its production.

One, Alda-1, was particularly effective and may be a potential drug target should the findings be replicated in humans, US researchers said.

It is thought the protective effect is due to the removal of cell-damaging molecules, known as free-radicals, by ALDH2.

The researchers said their findings also have implications for current treatments.

Nitroglycerin, a drug given to widen arteries and improve blood flow in people with chest pain, is converted to its active form by ALDH2 but prolonged use of the nitroglycerin can reduce the presence of the enzyme, potentially increasing damage to the heart, BBC reported.

The Alda-1 molecule was able to keep enzyme levels high during nitroglycerin treatment reducing the amount of damage.

This would be particularly important in patients from East Asia who have a mutation in the ALDH2 enzyme, making it less efficient the researchers said.

"Although this enzyme was discovered a long time ago, my research group knew nothing about it except that it helps remove alcohol when people drink," said study leader Dr Daria Mochly-Rosen, a researcher at Stanford University Medical Center.

"We've found a totally new pathway for reducing the damage caused by free-radicals, such as the damage that happens during a heart attack."

Judy O'Sullivan, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the "interesting finding" could potentially be of great benefit to patients.

"However, it will take many years before this could be confirmed in humans and then several more years before it would lead to the development of drug treatment to be used in clinical practice."

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

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

More News on:
Chest Pain Cardiac Catheterization Heart Attack Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Stress and the Gender Divide Heart Attack Facts Heart Heart Attack- Lifestyle Risks Healthy Heart 

Recommended Reading
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the ......
Management of Palpitations
Treatment should be tailor made for each patient depending on his or her abnormalities....
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a radiological procedure for both diagnosis and treatment of heart condit...
Chest Pain
Ask any one who has experienced intense chest pain and they will vouch for the fact that it was the ...
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or heart bypass surgery is an open heart surgery to relieve t...
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to avoi...
Stress and the Gender Divide
Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in th...

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