Genetic mechanism in heart conditions
New research has revealed genetic connection with heart defects in neonatal and new born babies. The research conducted by Gladstone scientists has unveiled a smooth and meticulous mechanism by which genetic causes for heart diseases in infants are manifested. Researchers have said that the study can open up doors for new research and development of new therapies that can help in fighting the heart condition. The major breakthrough of the study is the identification of two genes that are responsible for the problem. The genes are Six1 and Ezh2. These two genes help in the development of heart in fetus in the womb. The present research has uncovered the manner in which the role of these genes can impact the health in the future.
Implications of the study
The study has emphasized a relatively new kind of scientific field known as epigenetics. This is the science that studies how inheritance of genes and their role in formation of fetus can influence health later in life. Among different study arenas, this field of study focuses its attention on development of heart and how imprecise development can lead to heart problems during adulthood. According to the lead researcher of the study, Dr. Bruneau, the number of people in the United States suffering from congenital problems relating to the heart is nearly 1.3 million. All of these people are dependent on drugs and therapies that have to be taken for long term. Knowing how the genes play a role in formation of the cardiovascular system can provide ways to solve such chronic health problems.
Function of the Exh2 gene
When heart is being formed in the fetus, Ezh2 plays a very important role. It helps in development of the heart in a perfect manner by regulating the functions of the other genes. It shuts down the functions of genes that do not have a role to play in the formation of the heart. While these facts were known to researchers previously, most of the research performed was focused on the genes that played a role in formation. However, the uniqueness about the present study is that it focused on the genes that were put off during heart formation.
Function of Six1 gene
The research found that Six1 gene is operational only for a short while when the heart is being formed. After a duration, it is shut off by Ezh2. If this gene is not shut off, it leads to problems in the future. This was revealed in experiments on mice in laboratory.