Navigation Links
Function found for mysterious heart disease gene

OTTAWA, April 24, 2014 - A new study from researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), published today in Cell Reports, sheds light on a mysterious gene that likely influences cardiovascular health. 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.

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 mitochondriathe 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.

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."


Contact: Vincent Lamontagne
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Related biology news :

1. Autologous stem cell therapy improves motor function in chronic stroke victims
2. Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor
3. Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide
4. Development of new cell models that report circadian clock function
5. Special function of nestin+ neurons in medial septum-diagonal band of Broca in adult rats
6. Scientists uncover startlingly new functional details of common anti-diabetic drugs
7. Light-activated neurons from stem cells restore function to paralyzed muscles
8. Resting-state functional connection during low back pain
9. New functions for junk DNA?
10. Early rehabilitation improves postsurgery neurofunctional outcome in spinal tumor children
11. Aspartic acid in the hippocampus: A biomarker for postoperative cognitive dysfunction
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Function found for mysterious heart disease gene
(Date:11/12/2015)... LONDON , Nov. 11, 2015   ... and reliable analytical tools has been paving the ... and qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, ... sensors are being predominantly used in medical applications, ... and environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into ... of vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer ... drivers, and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive ... the vehicle. Europe , ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 Daon, a global leader in ... released a new version of its IdentityX Platform ... North America have already installed IdentityX v4.0 ... a FIDO UAF certified server component as ... activate FIDO features. These customers include some of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing ... Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of ... with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... PORTLAND, Oregon , November 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Deep Market Research Report is a professional and ... Genomics industry.      (Logo: ... basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, ... analysis is provided for the international markets including ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 ... the global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The ... to result in lower margins but higher volume ... With increased capacity and scale, however, margins in ... Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ... at the following conference, and invited investors to participate ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December ...
Breaking Biology Technology: