Skip to comments.Researchers turn off Down’s syndrome genes
Posted on 07/28/2013 10:42:07 PM PDT by neverdem
Silencing extra chromosome in cell cultures could lead to new treatments for the disorder.
The insertion of one gene can muzzle the extra copy of chromosome 21 that causes Downs syndrome, according to a study published today in Nature1. The method could help researchers to identify the cellular pathways behind the disorder's symptoms, and to design targeted treatments.
Its a strategy that can be applied in multiple ways, and I think can be useful right now, says Jeanne Lawrence, a cell biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and the lead author of the study.
Lawrence and her team devised an approach to mimic the natural process that silences one of the two X chromosomes carried by all female mammals. Both chromosomes contain a gene called XIST (the X-inactivation gene), which, when activated, produces an RNA molecule that coats the surface of a chromosome like a blanket, blocking other genes from being expressed. In female mammals, one copy of the XIST gene is activated silencing the X chromosome on which it resides.
Lawrences team spliced the XIST gene into one of the three copies of chromosome 21 in cells from a person with Downs syndrome. The team also inserted a genetic 'switch' that allowed them to turn on XIST by dosing the cells with the antibiotic doxycycline. Doing so dampened expression of individual genes along chromosome 21 that are thought to contribute to the pervasive developmental problems that comprise Down's syndrome.
The experiment used induced pluripotent stem cells, which can develop into many different types of mature cells, so the researchers hope that one day they will be able to study the effects of Downs syndrome in different organs and tissue types. That work could lead to treatments that address degenerative symptoms of...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
This is very interesting!
Thanks for posting this :-)
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There’s no ‘apostrophe s’. It’not possessive.
Could this be applied to those already afflicted? Or would that be to much like “Flowers for Algernon”?
Fewer Democrats Predicted!
Are you comparing those with Down Syndrome with dems? If so, please knock it off.
By the time a baby is born with DS, it is already “afflicted” to a considerable degree. Maybe early treatment could help with growth, muscle tone and mental development - but the authors are hoping for preventing degenerative consequences of DS like early Alzheimers.
Just take the day off and shut up.
It depends where you look. It was OK with Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 24th Edition, Copyright 1982.
Whoa! You kiss your mother with that mouth?
This is great news. God bless the little ones who have Downs and God bless the scientists.
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