Navigation Links
Shedding light on a gene mutation that causes signs of premature aging
Date:4/8/2013

Research from Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute sheds new light on a gene called ATRX and its function in the brain and pituitary. Children born with ATRX syndrome have cognitive defects and developmental abnormalities. ATRX mutations have also been linked to brain tumors. Dr. Nathalie Brub, PhD, and her colleagues found mice developed without the ATRX gene had problems in in the forebrain, the part of the brain associated with learning and memory, and in the anterior pituitary which has a direct effect on body growth and metabolism. The mice, unexpectedly, also displayed shortened lifespan, cataracts, heart enlargement, reduced bone density, hypoglycemia; in short, many of the symptoms associated with aging. The research is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Ashley Watson, a PhD candidate working in the Brub lab and the first author on the paper, discovered the loss of ATRX caused DNA damage especially at the ends of chromosomes which are called telomeres. She investigated further and discovered the damage is due to problems during DNA replication, which is required before the onset of cell division. Basically, the ATRX protein was needed to help replicate the telomere.

Working with Frank Beier of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, the researchers made another discovery. "Mice that developed without ATRX were small at birth and failed to thrive, and when we looked at the skeleton of these mice, we found very low bone mineralization. This is another feature found in mouse models of premature aging," says Brub, an associate professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Paediatrics at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, and a scientist in the Molecular Genetics Program at the Children's Health Research Institute within Lawson. "We found the loss of ATRX increases DNA damage locally in the forebrain and anterior pituitary, resulting in systemic defects similar to those seen in aging."

The researchers say the lack of ATRX in the anterior pituitary caused problems with the thyroid, resulting in low levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor-one (IGF-1) in the blood. There are theories that low IGF-1 can deplete stores of stem cells in the body, and Brub says that's one of the explanations for the premature aging. This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Notre Dame researcher is shedding light on how jaws evolve
2. Shedding new light on one of diabetes most dangerous complications
3. Shedding new light on infant brain development
4. New study shines light on barriers to diabetes care in NYC Bangladeshi community
5. EPA to highlight innovative ways to detect and respond to biological threats
6. Ancient whale species sheds new light on its modern relatives
7. Linking and lightening: New partnership connects and reveals dark data
8. AGU journal highlights for March 29, 2012
9. AGU journal highlights for April 16, 2012
10. Folding light: Wrinkles and twists boost power from solar panels
11. Light weights are just as good for building muscle, getting stronger, researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of ... paper " What You Should Know About Biometrics in ... user authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, ... However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from ... authentication offers an elegant solution to the problem of ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... 26, 2017  Crossmatch, a leading provider of security ... aimed at combatting fraud, waste and abuse in assistance ... the Action on Disaster Relief conference in ... UN agencies and foreign assistance organizations throughout ... abuse are a largely unacknowledged problem in the foreign ...
(Date:1/23/2017)...  The latest mobile market research from Acuity Market ... The quarterly average price of a biometric smartphone decreased ... 2016.  There are now 120 sub-$150 models on the ... just 28 a year ago at an average price ... Most , Acuity Market Intelligence Principal, "Biometric Smartphones are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... , ... February 20, 2017 , ... ... patients with catheters associated with peritoneal dialysis, announced today that it has published ... catheter connection system in Peritoneal Dialysis International (PDI), the official Journal of ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... Feb. 20, 2017  At the 2017 Health ... Orlando , IBM (NYSE: IBM ... clients. IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni ... address today from 8:30-10 am ET, broadcast live ... ibm.com/industries/healthcare. Her remarks examine the advent of the ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... ... Corporation ventured outside of weighing equipment with the goal of expanding the reach ... mind, the line of Starter water analysis meters were introduced into the market ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant ... Center in Orlando, Fla. , The combined scientific sessions offer investigators, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: