Navigation Links
Scientists uncover exciting lead into premature aging and heart disease
Date:4/30/2012

Scientists have discovered that they can dramatically increase the life span of mice with progeria (premature ageing disease) and heart disease (caused by Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy) by reducing levels of a protein called SUN1. This research was done by A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) in collaboration with their partners at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States and the Institute of Cellular and System Medicine in Taiwan. Their findings were published in the prestigious scientific journal, Cell, on 27th April 2012 and provide an exciting lead into developing new methods to treat premature aging and heart disease.

Children with progeria suffer symptoms of premature ageing and mostly die in their early teens from either heart attack or stroke. Individuals with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (AD-EDMD) suffer from muscle wasting and cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle making it harder for the heart to pump blood and deliver it to the rest of the body leading to heart failure. Both diseases are caused by mutations in Lamin A, a protein in the membrane surrounding a cell's nucleus which provides mechanical support to the nucleus. SUN1 is a protein also found in the inner nuclear membrane, but there have been no previous studies to show how SUN1 interacts with the Lamin proteins.

The scientists wanted to investigate if SUN1 had any involvement in diseases caused by mutations in Lamin A, so they inactivated SUN1 in mouse models developed for progeria and AD-EDMD. These mouse models for progeria and AD-EDMD usually thrive poorly and have markedly short life spans as they die from premature ageing and heart failure respectively. However, by inactivating SUN1 and reducing SUN1 levels in these mouse models, the scientists observed that the life spans of the mouse models for progeria and AD-EDMD doubled and tripled respectively.

"We actually expected that knocking out Sun1 in these mouse models would worsen their conditions and cause them to die faster but surprisingly we observed the opposite. This is the first time that Sun1 protein has been implicated in diseases linked to Lamin A and it is exciting how basic research has led to a discovery that can potentially have significant impact on us," said Rafidah Abdul Mutalif, who is pursuing her PhD at IMB and one of the main authors of this paper.

Prof. Colin Stewart, Principle Investigator at IMB, said, "Notably, the heart muscle of the mice was restored to near normal function and cardiac function improved when the levels of SUN1 were reduced. Mutations in Lamin A are frequently reported as a cause of heart disease and especially within a group of hereditary cardiomyopathies. This opens up a possibility that from these observations, reduction in SUN1 maybe of therapeutic use for other forms of heart disease. We are very excited about this discovery and look forward to further pursuing this lead which could potentially lead to development of new treatments for heart diseases."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ong Siok Ming
ong_siok_ming@a-star.edu.sg
65-682-66254
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to 2 scientists who pioneered advances in skin disorders
2. Scientists provide first large-scale estimate of reef shark losses in the Pacific Ocean
3. Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
4. Queens is UK leader for female scientists and engineers
5. Scientists uncover strong support for once-marginalized theory on Parkinsons disease
6. Scientists develop new technique that could improve heart attack prediction
7. Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
8. Scripps research scientists find anticonvulsant drug helps marijuana smokers kick the habit
9. Scientists have discovered genes that increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
10. Marine scientists urge government to reassess oil spill response
11. Scientists find Achilles heel in life-threatening malaria parasites
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... -- Janice Kephart , former 9/11 Commission ... LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following statement: ... 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the Nation ... instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation of ... are suspended by until at least July 2017). ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... Florida , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, ... technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on ... and Exchange Commission. ... on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of ... as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... When James Sherley, was notified earlier this year that his company Asymmetrex ... 2017 by The Silicon Review , he was not surprised as others might be. ... but this recognition by Silicon Valley was particularly meaningful. Our selection by ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Cynvenio Biosystems, Inc. a ... Cancer blood test. Leveraging a highly-sensitive next-generation sequencing panel of 11 genes known ... and accurately identify tumor-related genetic mutations that can be treated with targeted therapies. ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2017 , ... Tunnell ... in a presentation of “The Key Role of Specifications in Process Validation,” at the ... Philadelphia . The event will bring together leaders from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... , May 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ... can stretch double-stranded DNA molecules with the potential ... This technology complements the IBM Research,s ... such as exosomes and which may also contain ... uses an array of diamond shaped micropillars 1 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: