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

Role of New Genes in Heart Failure

by Preethi Sivaswaamy Mohana on March 8, 2018 at 12:46 PM
Font : A-A+

Role of New Genes in Heart Failure

New 36 genes that implicate heart failure have been discovered by Northeastern physics professor Alain Karma and his colleagues. Heart diseases are the reason behind one in four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genetic complexity of heart diseases makes it difficult to treat. The findings of the study are published in the journal npj Systems Biology and Applications .

"This is an exciting direction for personalized medicine, and also for identifying genes and therapeutic targets for complex diseases that involve many genes," Karma said.

Advertisement


The ultimate goal is to create personalized therapeutic drugs to reverse heart disease. Scientists are probably still a decade away from achieving that sort of tailored therapy, Karma said. But companies interested in developing such drugs can use the method he and his colleagues developed and the genes they identified to get a step closer.

The framework described in the paper can also be used to predict whether individuals suffering from a particular disease will respond to a given drug treatment, said lead author Marc Santolini, a postdoctoral research associate at Northeastern's Center for Complex Network Research.
Advertisement

"The method can predict beforehand whether a patient should be prescribed a different drug using just a simple blood test. This would save time and accelerate the therapy," Santolini said. "In general, this research highlights the importance of personalized approaches to uncover novel disease genes and better understand disease processes."

The traditional approach to finding genes related to heart disease works like this: Scientists take donated hearts from people who died unexpectedly but were previously healthy. They analyze the gene expression--that is, the amount of messenger RNA and proteins--produced by the genes of healthy hearts and compare it with the gene expression of sick hearts explanted from end-stage heart failure patients undergoing heart transplant.

"You see a different gene expression profile," Karma said. For example, if a gene found in the sick hearts expresses twice the amount of RNA as it did in the healthy hearts, it might be relevant to the disease. But so far, Karma said this method hasn't been very successful in finding important genes.

His team took an entirely different approach--using the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel, a collection of 100 genetically different strains of mice that can be used to analyze the genetic and environmental factors underlying complex traits. Within each strain, the mice are inbred, making them all identical twins on a genetic level.

Scientists took two mice from the same strain and gave one of them a stressor drug that induces heart failure. They then compared the stressed mouse's gene expression with its non-stressed twin. Since the mice have the same genome, they were able to pinpoint individual genes that changed expression as a direct result of the heart stressor. The scientists identified 36 such genes.

Many of these genes were previously unknown to be implicated in heart disease . Karma said one of them is known as a transcription factor, meaning it controls the expression of many other genes. The scientists confirmed the gene's role by using molecular biology techniques to silence it and observe the resulting changes of expression. They found the transcription factor gene was directly connected to a whole network of proteins known to play a role in cardiac hypertrophy.

One of the genes Karma found, called RFFL, was previously known to scientists to be implicated in other cardiac processes. However, it was not known to be related to hypertrophy, said Gideon Koren, a physician and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Rhode Island Hospital & the Cardiovascular Institute. Koren has been studying RFFL in his lab for the past two years.

"All of the sudden, this study reveals the gene is important for the hypertrophic trait," Koren said. "We now think that RFFL is an important node that can cross-talk with cardiac hypertrophy failure and cardiac excitation." Cardiac excitation is the process that enables the chambers of the heart to contract and relax. "That was something that we wouldn't have explored, given what we knew about RFFL," Koren added.

As a next step, Karma said the new method could be tested on human stem cells, which have the same genetic code as the person they came from and can be induced to have similar gene expression patterns as heart cells.

"When you are comparing two populations of cells from the same person--one that has been controlled and one that has been under the effect of a drug or stressor--you can compare the change of gene expression in a personalized way," Karma said.



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
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

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

More News on:
Congenital Heart Disease Heart Healthy Heart Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Statins Mitral Valve Prolapse Aortic Valve Stenosis Infective Endocarditis Cough Symptom Evaluation Weaver Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart fails to work adequately as a pump ...
Aspirin to the Rescue for People With Diabetes and Heart Failure
An aspirin every day lowers the risk of death and hospitalization due to heart failure in patients ....
Heart Failure Patients Receive Less Palliative Care
With improved education, cardiologists and primary care clinicians can integrate palliative care ......
Cardiac Progenitor Cells Help Reverse Heart Failure Caused by Muscular Dystrophy
Microscopic vesicles secreted by the injected cells, unexpectedly restore muscle function in a ......
Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aortic valve Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the c valve. Symptoms include angina, and that of ...
Congenital Heart Disease
Heart diseases that are present at birth are called “ Congenital heart diseases”....
Cough Symptom Evaluation
Cough is a symptom of a condition usually affecting the respiratory tract. It may be acute or chroni...
Infective Endocarditis
Infective endocarditis has been arbitrarily categorized as acute or subacute based on the length of ...
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Mitral Valve Prolapse is a relatively common condition and causes leakage of blood through the valve...
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
It can be a serious condition affecting the heart. It is defined as mean pulmonary arterial pressure...
Statins
Statins are new wonder drugs that are proving to be efficacious, not merely in relieving symptoms bu...
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

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