Navigation Links
Scientists discover gene module underlying atherosclerosis development

By measuring the total gene activity in organs relevant for coronary artery disease (CAD), scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have identified a module of genes that is important for the recruitment of white blood cells into the atherosclerotic plaque. The findings, which are to be published in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, suggest that targeting the migration of white blood cells in the development of atherosclerosis may help to reduce the risk for adverse clinical effects such as ischemia and myocardial infarction.

Atherosclerosis is the major cause of myocardial infarction and stroke, and is responsible for half of all deaths in Sweden and other Western countries. Complications of atherosclerosis are rapidly increasing as a major cause of death also in developing countries; the World Health Organisation has predicted that this will become the number one killer by 2010.

"It has been an exciting research project, which has gone on for nearly seven years, involving many different disciplines from thoracic surgeons to mathematicians", says team leader Dr. Johan Bjrkegren at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. "I believe that this kind of clinical study will follow in the aftermath of the large number of ongoing genome-wide association studies."

Rather than individual genes or individual DNA variants, the discovery encompasses a group of 128 functionally related genes in a 'module' or 'network', which explains their mutual interactions. The involvement of most of these genes in CAD has not previously been known, but it has been known that they are involved in endothelial function and angiogenesis.

Through the collaboration with Dr. Eric Schadt's team at Washington University, Seattle, the researchers were also able to take advantage of previously published genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of CAD to show that the gene module they have discovered is enriched for inherited risk of developing myocardial infarction.

"The GWAS are genetic epidemiology studies often involving tens of thousands of patients and controls, originally designed to link isolated DNA locus to the risk of developing complex common disorders, such as atherosclerosis", says Dr Bjrkegren. "These studies now need to be complemented with clinical studies where the patients also are screened for intermediate molecular phenotypes in disease-relevant organs. The computational capacities and expertise required to address simultaneously all molecular activities and their relative risk-enrichment are available, all that remains is to start recruiting this kind of cohorts."

The findings suggest that the severity of atherosclerosis depends on the rate of the migration of white blood cells from the blood into the atherosclerotic plaques. Although this pathway is already known to play a role in atherosclerosis, the Swedish findings suggest that it is the rate limiting step for disease progression. However, Dr Bjrkegren admits that the exact roles of all 128 genes in atherogenesis remain unexplained. Future studies will focus on understanding the details of how these genes actually contribute to atherosclerosis in cell cultures and animal model systems.


Contact: Press Officer Katarina Sternudd
Karolinska Institutet

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds Biometrics ... to 2021 as well as Emerging ... research reports to its collection of ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... 23, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Voice Recognition Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow ... --> --> The report, ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... Calif., Oct. 22, 2015  Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a ... its first quarter ended September 30, 2015. ... of fiscal 2016 grew 66 percent over the comparable quarter last ... fiscal 2016 was $23.8 million, or $0.62 per diluted share. ... for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 39 percent over ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Pittcon is pleased to announce the 2016 ... symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, and posters. The core of the Technical ... as, but not limited to, biotechnology, biomedical, drug discovery, environmental, food science, fuels/energy, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading independent ... (CRO), has formed a strategic partnership ... Temple Health for joint work on ... ) , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 --> ... - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow ... in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the ... manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample ... plays a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2 nouvelles études permettent d , identifier ... souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque dentaire des ... Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle voie ... l,un des problèmes de santé les plus fréquemm ... --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: