Navigation Links
Unmasking Nutrition's Role in Genes and Birth Defects

Expectant mothers may someday get a personalized menu of foods to eat during pregnancy to complement their genetic makeup as a result of new research at Washington University// School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Researchers used transparent fish embryos to develop a way to discover how genes and diet interact to cause birth defects.

"By the time most women know they are pregnant, the development of the fetus' organs is essentially complete," said Bryce Mendelsohn, co-author and an M.D./Ph.D. student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine. "Since we currently do not understand the interaction between genetics and nutrition, the goal of this research was to understand how the lack of a specific nutrient, in this case copper, interacts with an embryo's genetics during early development."

Mendelsohn is doing the research in the laboratory of Jonathan D. Gitlin, M.D., the Helene B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, director of genetics and genomic medicine at St. Louis Children's Hospital and scientific director of the Children's Discovery Institute.

Mendelsohn and collaborators Stephen L. Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics at the School of Medicine, and graduate student Chunyue Yin, working with Lila Solnica-Krezel, associate professor of biology at Vanderbilt University, studied the impact of copper metabolism on the development of zebrafish, a vertebrate that develops similarly to humans. Zebrafish have become staples of genetic research because the transparent embryos grow outside of the mother's body, which allows development to be easily observed.

The study's results appear in the August issue of Cell Metabolism.

Using techniques designed to get to the core of how the body processes copper, the researchers identified a gene in zebrafish responsible for copper metabolism, called atp7a. They foun d that variants of the atp7a gene led to the abnormal metabolism of copper, which resulted in impaired development of the fish's notochord, similar to the spine in humans.

In humans, copper is found in all body tissues and is critical for maintaining stable iron levels, connective tissue formation, nerve cell function in the brain, hormone production and pigmentation. The trace metal is commonly found in shellfish, nuts, chocolate and liver.

"Whether a zebrafish embryo has enough copper to develop normally depends not only on the total amount of copper, but on how well this gene functions," Mendelsohn said.

Menkes disease is an inherited disorder of copper metabolism caused by a mutation in the human version of the ATP7A gene. Children who have Menkes disease have seizures, neuronal degeneration, abnormal bone development and kinky, colorless hair. The disease, although very rare, is untreatable and fatal.

The discovery of a vertebrate model to examine copper metabolism in early development will contribute to the understanding of the role of copper in structural birth defects such as scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. In addition, the availability of the zebrafish model of Menkes disease permits the development of novel therapeutic approaches in affected patients.

The researchers next plan to adapt these same methods to find other genes that affect the body's use of important nutrients during early development. This could provide insight into how poor nutrition and genetic variation act together to contribute to birth defects.

"We already know that nutrition is a critical issue in birth defects and that folic acid is an essential supplement in some women for the prevention of spina bifida in the developing fetus," said Gitlin. "The ultimate goal of this research is to bring the power of genomic medicine to every woman. The knowledge of genetic variations serves as a unique, individu al guide for providing the essential nutritional intake that will ensure a normal, healthy infant."

(Source: Newswise)
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. New Way to "See" Genes, Evaluate Effectiveness of Gene Therapies Discovered
2. Genes for lung disease
3. Genesis of SUPAC
4. Genes for Vision discovered
5. Genes Found To Help Leukemia Treatment
6. Cardiac Valve Disease Linked To Genes
7. Genes Linked To Cigarette Addiction
8. Genes from saliva may predict oral and breast cancer
9. Genes More Important Than Exercise for Bad Cholesterol
10. Genes responsible for social behavior of us
11. Genes to Extend Longevity Discovered
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 19, 2017 , ... St. Catherine’s Village ... , Siena Center is a skilled nursing facility on the grounds of the St. ... rooms. It recently was voted the best nursing home in Mississippi for the second ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Attorney Robert “RC” Pate , founder of The Law ... Triumph Over Kid Cancer foundation. Each year, 175,000 children are diagnosed with pediatric cancers. ... the effect of the critical funding gap for research into pediatric cancer research. From ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Creative messages to prevent ... contest from Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty. Entries from students aged 14-22 ... grants totaling $15,000 will be awarded for the best peer-to-peer messages sharing solutions ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Norwalk, CT (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 ... ... board certified Reproductive Endocrinologists at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) have ... Hurwitz, Dr. Cynthia Murdock and Dr. Shaun Williams have each been chosen by ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The CHP suggests that ... a rain storm by slowing down and increasing the space between themselves and other ... Angeles based car accident attorney Raymond R. Hassanlou notes that, rain or shine, drivers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Aprima Medical Software, a leading ... management (PM) and revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions ... a former reseller Healthcare Data Solutions (HDS) of ... Aprima will assume full support for HDS,s customers, ... practices across 15 states. Financial terms were not ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... -- Adaptive Sound Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), the leading supplier of ... Place Nashville/Downtown to deliver the best sleep experience for ... in over two hundred of its guest rooms. ... having a great stay is sleeping well," said ... "We,re pleased to be able to offer our guests ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... and PUNE, India , January 18, 2017 ... Market by Product Type and by Application: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, ... 2015, and is expected to reach $1,127 million by 2022, growing at a ... 2015, with two-fifths share, in terms of revenue. ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: