Sunday, May 27, 2018
News

This 'selfish' gene may prevent heart disease

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

New York | Wednesday, 2018 3:45:04 PM IST
Scientists have identified a "selfish" gene that can potentially remove cholesterol from blood vessels and help prevent heart disease.

The gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels.

In mice, MeXis was found to control the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out of cells in the artery wall, said researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

In the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers found that mice lacking MeXis had almost twice as many blockages in their blood vessels compared to mice with normal MeXis levels.

In addition, boosting MeXis levels made cells more effective at removing excess cholesterol.

MeXis is an example of a "selfish" gene, one that is presumed to have no function because it does not make a protein product.

However, new studies have suggested that these so-called "unhelpful" genes can actually perform important biological functions without making proteins and also produce a special class of molecules called long non-coding RNAs, or lncRNAs.

"The idea that lncRNAs are directly involved in very common ailments such as plaque build-up within arteries offers new ways of thinking about how to treat and diagnose heart disease," said lead author Tamer Sallam, Assistant Professor at the UCLA.

"There is likely a good reason why genes that make RNAs rather than proteins exist. A key question for us moving forward is how they may be involved in health and disease," Sallam added.

Considering many genes like MeXis have completely unknown functions, the study suggests that further exploring how other long non-coding RNAs act will lead to exciting insights into both normal physiology and disease, the researchers said.

--IANS rt/and/in/bg

( 293 Words)

2018-02-14-15:16:08 (IANS)

Watch News Videos

 
  LATEST COMMENTS (0)
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
MORE HEALTH NEWS
US begins testing Ebola treatment in ear...
More about follow-up care after concussi...
Nipah scare: No need to panic; adopt goo...
Goal conflict linked to depressive sympt...
Reviewing first year of National Policy ...
Irish show landslide support for abortio...
More...
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
Veteran actor Ranga Rao passes away...
Mann ki Baat: PM Modi congratulates INVS...
New tech can help patients with deadly l...
BJP confident of Kairana by-poll victory...
Modi discourages use of plastic...
19 CRPF personnel injured in accident du...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
Meerut distillery accident: Yogi an... 
Cargo train derails in Ferozabad, n... 
Elaborate security for Kairana LS, ... 
Housewife abducted in Maharashtra... 
Nipah Virus: HP sounds alerts, J&K ... 
Saudi finance ministry sells 3.95 b... 
Modi hails Savarkar, says 'sense of... 
Delhi to witness hot day, heat wave...