LIFE SCIENCE

The pathogenic gene of the world’s “number one killer” is finalized


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Coronary artery disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. American researchers identified genes that play a key role in the development of coronary artery disease. A related paper was recently published in Circular Research.

The study singled out the “culprits” of coronary artery disease from a series of potential genetic doubts, giving scientists hope for better treatments.

Coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease, affecting more than 20 million Americans. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the United States die each year. The disease is caused by the accumulation of fatty plaque on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, but the genetic factors that contribute to its development remain unclear.

Mete Civelek, a senior investigator at the Center for Genomics and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia Public Health, said: “Over the past 15 years, genetic studies conducted on more than 1 million people have identified hundreds of sites on human chromosomes that increase the risk of heart attack. Now we have further identified the genes that cause this risk at these sites. ”

To gain insight into the important genes that contribute to the development of coronary artery disease, Civelek and his team examined healthy heart transplant donor cells collected from 151 people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. This provides scientists with a wealth of information about the gene activity of smooth muscle cells. Using gene activity data, they triangulated specific genetic variants that cause harmful changes in smooth muscle cells.

These cells naturally line up the human arteries, and they are the basis for the buildup of fatty plaques within the arteries. Understanding these changes can help understand plaque formation—a process known as atherosclerosis—and ultimately reveals the molecular mechanisms that lead to coronary artery disease.

“We need to identify drugs that target the site of disease development. That’s why it’s important to find the gene that causes the development of the disease in the arteries, because that’s where plaque forms. Civelek said.

The new study provides many important insights into coronary artery disease. For example, the researchers found significant differences in gene activity between male and female smooth muscle cells. They also found important differences between proliferating smooth muscle cells and those that did not.

“We hope to provide a rich gene catalog for research in the cardiovascular field in the coming years as a new therapeutic target.” The developed drugs can target arterial plaque development, benefiting tens of millions of patients. Civelek said. (Source: Wang Fang, China Science News)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.122.321586



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