Navigation Links
Scripps Research scientists help pinpoint cause of stress-related DNA damage
Date:8/22/2011

JUPITER, FL, August 22, 2011 Working closely with a team of researchers from Duke University, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have helped identify a molecular pathway that plays a key role in stress-related damage to the genome, the entirety of an organism's hereditary information.

The new findings, published in the journal Nature on August 21, 2011, could not only explain the development of certain human disorders, they could also offer a potential model for prevention and therapy.

While the human mind and body are built to respond to stressthe well-known "fight or flight" response, which lasts only a few minutes and raises heart rate and blood glucose levelsthe response itself can cause significant damage if maintained over long periods of time.

When stress becomes chronic, this natural response can lead to a number of disease-related symptoms including peptic ulcers and cardiovascular disorders. To make matters worse, evidence indicates that chronic stress eventually leads to DNA damage, which in turn can result in various neuropsychiatric conditions, miscarriages, cancer, and even aging itself.

Until the new study, however, exactly how chronic stress wreaks havoc on DNA was basically unknown.

"Precisely how chronic stress leads to DNA damage is not fully understood," said Derek Duckett, associate scientific director of the Translational Research Institute at Scripps Florida. "Our research now outlines a novel mechanism highlighting β-arrestin-1 as an important player."

The long-term effects of these stress hormones on DNA damage identified in the study represent a conceptual as well as a tangible advance, according to Robert J. Lefkowitz, a Duke University professor of medicine who led the study.

Since stress is not time-limited and can be sustained over months or even years, it is well appreciated that persistent stress may have adverse effects for the individual. These new findings not only uncover a novel pathway, but also have important practical implications.

"Our results provide a possible mechanistic basis for several recent reports suggesting that significant risk reductions for diseases such as prostate cancer, lung adenocarcinoma, and Alzheimer's disease may be associated with blockade of this particular stress-response pathway by beta blockers," Leftkowitz said. "Although there are most likely numerous pathways involved in the onset of stress-related diseases, our results raise the possibility that such therapies might reduce some of the deleterious DNA-damaging consequences of long-term stress in humans."

A Newly Discovered Mechanism

The newly uncovered mechanism involves β-arrestin-1proteins, β2-adrenoreceptors (β2ARs), and the catecholamines, the classic fight-or-flight hormones released during times of stressadrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine. Arrestin proteins are involved in modifying the cell's response to neurotransmitters, hormones, and sensory signals; adrenoceptors respond to the catecholamines noradrenaline and adrenaline.

Under stress, the hormone adrenaline stimulates β2ARs expressed throughout the body, including sex cells and embryos. Through a series of complex chemical reactions, the activated receptors recruit β-arrestin-1, creating a signaling pathway that leads to catecholamine-induced degradation of the tumor suppressor protein p53, sometimes described as "the guardian of the genome."

The new findings also suggest that this degradation of p53 leads to chromosome rearrangement and a build-up of DNA damage both in normal and sex cells. These types of abnormalities are the primary cause of miscarriages, congenital defects, and mental retardation, the study noted.


'/>"/>

Contact: Eric Sauter
erics165@comcast.net
215-862-2689
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scripps research team solves structure of beneficial virus
2. Scripps research team sheds light on immune system suppression
3. Scripps Florida scientists awarded $1.5M to fight major water and food parasites
4. Scripps research scientists identify compounds for stem-cell production from adult cells
5. Scripps research scientists identify blood component that turns bacteria virulent
6. Scripps research team defines new painkilling chemical pathway
7. Dolphin population stunted by fishing activities, Scripps/NOAA study finds
8. Scripps Research scientists shed light on how DNA is unwound so that its code can be read
9. Scripps scientists develop first examples of RNA that replicates itself indefinitely
10. Scripps scientists create first crystal structure of an intermediate particle in virus assembly
11. Historical photographs expose decline in Floridas reef fish, new Scripps study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today ... announcing that the server component of the HYPR platform ... for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users ... including manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... National executive search ... with extensive assay development and biomarker expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs at ... specializing in bio-analytical assay development and sample testing services. The organization acts as ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... As Vice President, ... products including training, implementation, support, and client process and SOP development. , Mr. ... previously held leadership roles for service providers and top-tier pharmaceuticals, and as an ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like a superorganism--individual bees ... nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives the colony a ... to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony's ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... CT (PRWEB) , ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... night’s Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), held at The LOFT at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. ... project ideas to a panel of judges for an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards ...
Breaking Biology Technology: