Navigation Links
Why 'lazy Susan' has a weak heart

When young, apparently healthy athletes suddenly collapse, it can be due to hereditary cardiac disease. Researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital have now discovered a genetic modification that leads to cardiac weakness in an animal model. Just one "false" amino acid can give zebrafish a heart condition. Since the fish have a genetic makeup similar to that of humans, these defects could be critical for humans as well.

Cardiac insufficiency is not just a disease that results from a heart attack or myocarditis. For young people in particular there is often an underlying genetic cause (cardiomyopathy). Some 30,000 people in Germany are affected and the disease often remains undetected for a long time. The tragic cases of athletes who suddenly collapse during training or competition are well known. The cardiology department at the Heidelberg University Hospital (Medical Director Prof. Hugo Katus) is one of the major centers in Germany for the treatment and research of cardiac insufficiency.

For many years, the researchers in Heidelberg have been studying the zebrafish. The genetic variant that suffers from cardiomyopathy is called "Lazy Susan" and got its nickname because of its slow blood flow. Dr. Benjamin Meder and Christina Laufer from Dr. Wolfgang Rottbauer's research group (Department of Cardiology) examined its muscle protein myosin light chain-1, which is involved in contraction of the heart muscle. They discovered the crucial change in the amino acid Serine 195, which was lost through mutation. This single change is sufficient to severely limit heart function.

Some 70 percent of the genes of zebrafish and humans are identical

Can these research results be transferred from zebrafish to humans? In the next step, the Heidelberg cardiologists plan to search for the same mutation in patients' genes. Since approximately 70 percent of human genes are identical with those of zebrafish, the researchers are confident that a Serine 195 mutation will have a similar affect in human hearts. The researchers also hope to develop new therapies for patients. A targeted modification of the amino acid Serine could increase the activity of the actin-myosin complex and result in an increase of cardiac contractility.


Contact: Dr. Benjamin Meder
University Hospital Heidelberg

Related biology news :

1. Type 1 diabetes triggered by lazy regulatory T-cells: McGill researchers
2. Abnormal fat metabolism underlies heart problems in diabetic patients
3. High blood pressure, low energy -- a recipe for heart failure
4. Human derived stem cells can repair rat hearts damaged by heart attack
5. Geron Demonstrates hESC-derived cardiomyocytes improve heart function after myocardial infarction
6. Heart of Herschel to be presented to media
7. Minimally invasive heart surgery research wins NIH award
8. A step toward tissue-engineered heart structures for children
9. Research explains link between cholesterol and heart disease
10. Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease
11. Cardiologists and heart surgeons meet for Controversies and Advances conference
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, and ... to track the criminal down. An outbreak of ... Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a ... of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... introduce a new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for ... September 12–17 in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: