Navigation Links
Researchers genetically link Lou Gehrig's disease in humans to dog disease
Date:1/21/2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. An incurable, paralyzing disease in humans is now genetically linked to a similar disease in dogs. Researchers from the University of Missouri and the Broad Institute have found that the genetic mutation responsible for degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs is the same mutation that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the human disease also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. As a result of the discovery, which will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, researchers can now use dogs with DM as animal models to help identify therapeutic interventions for curing the human disease, ALS.

"We uncovered the genetic mutation of degenerative myelopathy, which has been unknown for 30 years, and linked it to ALS, a human disease that has no cure," said Joan Coates, a veterinary neurologist and associate professor of veterinary medicine and surgery in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. "Dogs with DM are likely to provide scientists with a more reliable animal model for ALS. Also, this discovery will pave the way for DNA tests that will aid dog breeders in avoiding DM in the future."

Previously, ALS research has relied heavily on transgenic rodents that expressed the mutant human gene SOD1, which causes ALS. Researchers found that dogs with DM also had mutations in their SOD1 gene. Many rodent models possess very high levels of the SOD1 protein that can produce pathologic processes distinct from those occurring in ALS patients. Since the SOD1 mutation is spontaneous in dogs, the clinical spectrum in dogs may represent more accurately that of human ALS.

"Compared with the rodent models for ALS, dogs with DM are more similar to people in size, structure and complexity of their nervous systems, and duration of the disease," said Gary Johnson, associate professor of veterinary pathobiology in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. "The results from clinical trials conducted with DM-affected dogs may better predict the efficacies of therapeutic interventions for treating ALS in humans."

ALS causes progressive neurodegeneration, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous systems. The disease leads to advancing weakness and muscle atrophy, and culminates in paralysis and death. DM has been recognized for more than 35 years as a spontaneously occurring, spinal cord disorder in dogs. DM is reported most commonly in German Shepherds but also exists in other breeds, such as Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Boxers. There are no treatments for ALS and DM that clearly have been shown to stop or slow progression of the diseases. Owners of dogs with DM usually elect euthanasia six months to a year after diagnosis when the dogs can no longer support their weight with their pelvic limbs, whereas people with ALS typically progress to the state of complete paralysis and succumb to respiratory failure.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Texas Medical Center researchers win collaborative grants
2. Researchers describe protease inhibitor that may aid in diabetic retinopathy treatment
3. Researchers examine developing hearts in chickens to find solutions for human heart abnormalities
4. JDRF-funded researchers discover proteins regulating human beta cell replication
5. Researchers to use K-States BSL-3 Lab for $1 million study of fungus threatening wheat crops
6. Researchers identify potential new weapon in battle against HIV infection
7. U-M researchers discover new genes that fuse in cancer
8. Researchers first to see reactive oxygen species in vital enzyme
9. Dartmouth researchers find new protein function
10. Burnham researchers discover on switch for cell death signaling mechanism
11. Salk researchers develop novel glioblastoma mouse model
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... -- IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner ... developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built ... France is one of ... 30 percent increase in the number of startups created between ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...   Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise ... EMR Systems , an electronic medical record solutions ... established a partnership to build an interface between ... Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity ... new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... York , April 19, 2017 ... as its vendor landscape is marked by the presence ... market is however held by five major players - ... Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the ... the leading companies in the global military biometrics market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... IN (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... the Rocky Mountain Hobby-Expo in Denver, Colorado October 28 and 29, 2017, to ... the event is to promote participation in different hobbies, including but not limited ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Vixiar Medical announced today that it ... to The LaunchPort™ Accelerator at the City Garage in Port Covington. The LaunchPort™, ... business services to its Residents. , Vixiar Medical recently closed a $1.5 ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... (PRWEB) September 21, 2017 , ... The ... congress to review the latest knowledge on these products, which are increasingly used ... discuss the impact of Biostimulants on Plant Nutrition, Abiotic Stresses, Plant Growth and ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... UK (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... a QuintilesIMS company, who enable the world’s most progressive pharma and biotech organizations ... clinical trials at top pharma and biotech events in Q4. , DrugDev will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: