Researchers Mute Extra Chromosome Responsible for Down Syndrome
July 18, 2013 12:25 PM
comment(s) - last by
The team used an RNA gene called XIST
Researchers have found a way to mute an extra chromosome known for causing trisomy 21, or Down syndrome.
Scientists at UMass Medical School -- led by Jeanne B. Lawrence, PhD, professor of cell & developmental biology -- have used an RNA gene to hush the chromosome responsible for Down syndrome, which could open new possibilities for studying the condition.
People with Down syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two, causing trisomy 21. This leads to cognitive disability and early-onset
. It can also cause other complications, such as heart defects.
The team used an RNA gene called XIST -- which typically silences one of the X chromosomes found in females -- as inspiration for the study. The large XIST RNA is created during early development from one of the two X chromosomes in the female, and has the ability to prevent the X chromosome's DNA from being expressed to produce proteins. This makes the genes on the chromosome silent.
Using this idea, the team collected induced pluripotent stem cells from fibroblast cells donated by a Down syndrome patient. The researchers then used zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology to place the XIST gene in the extra chromosome 21.
The results showed that the XIST RNA
successfully muted genes
across the extra chromosome and stopped it from working. Gene expression levels returned to a more normal state from there.
It also showed that XIST is capable of reversing the problems with cell proliferation and neural cell differentiation found in Down syndrome cells.
“In the short term the correction of Down syndrome cells in culture accelerates the study of cell pathology and translational research into therapeutics, but also for the longer-term, potential development of ‘chromosome therapies,’ which utilize epigenetic strategies to regulate chromosomes, is now at least conceivable," said Lawrence.
"Since therapeutic strategies for common chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome have received too little attention for too long, for the sake of millions of patients and their families across the U.S. and the world, we ought to try."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/18/2013 5:39:04 PM
They both are, granted that you become aware of that information at a point at which the pregnancy could be terminated.
7/18/2013 5:57:40 PM
I appreciate that you're willing to have an intelligent discussion about it.
7/18/2013 8:04:29 PM
It's not a subject to be taken lightly, and it's gut-wrenching to have to deal with in the first place.
The fact of the matter is though, if you go to the doctor and seek information on the baby before it's born and become aware of a birth defect, you're basically enforcing your own ideals on life whichever way you go at that point.
The only way to not do that is of course to just not do any such tests and go straight through with the pregnancy. Which lots of people do too.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
Mice Receive Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Damaged Brain
April 22, 2013, 5:22 PM
Oxford Professor: Parents Should Be Able to Alter Genes in Embryos for Character Flaws
August 20, 2012, 10:08 PM
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Temple University Researchers Hit the Delete Button on HIV, Remove it from Human Cells
July 22, 2014, 7:39 AM
Airbus Shows Off All-Electric E-Fan 2.0 Airplane, Plans Production in 2017
July 21, 2014, 9:29 AM
Buzz Aldrin Says First Astronauts to Set Foot on Mars Should Never Return Home
July 9, 2014, 9:46 AM
Women May Soon Be Able to Control Their Fertility via Remote Control
July 7, 2014, 10:14 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Kills Entertainment Unit, May Shelve Flagship Lumia "McLaren"
July 18, 2014, 7:40 PM
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Motorola Moto G Successor Reportedly Uncovered, Moto X Discounted by up to $75
July 21, 2014, 1:11 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information