In a recent study, it has been claimed that by altering a heart-specific genetic pathway, there are chances that diseases such as Obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease can be averted. This study has been done by a team of researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “This is the first demonstration that the heart can regulate systemic metabolism, which we think opens up a whole new area of investigation”, said Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study.
For the study, Dr. Chad Grueter, a postdoctoral researcher in molecular biology, who led the research, used genetically altered mice and an experimental drug, which was found to influence the levels of two regulatory molecules in the heart. It was found after the research that MED13, which is a key part of a gene pathway in the heart, manages the metabolism of the body, and miRNA-208a, a heart-specific micro RNA, was found to halt the action of MED13. It was claimed by researchers that those mice who had MED13 levels were weak and had to put on a lot of energy, while those genetically engineered mice who didn’t had MED13 in the heart were found to have escalated vulnerability to diet-induced obesity.
It was told that there was another study done earlier too when heart-specific microRNA, miR-208a was thoroughly studied and further a drug was developed to stop miR-208a after associating with a biotechnology company. However, the present study is totally focused on the role played by miR-208a and its target MED13 in regulating systemic metabolism. Published in the latest issue of Cell, this study has captured the attention of the medical community.
There are chances that this study might open new routes to find cures of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the time to come.
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