Biological breakthrough may lead to new treatments for sickle cell disease
Washington: Researchers have manipulated key biological events in adult blood cells to produce a form of haemoglobin normally absent after the newborn period.
"Our study shows the power of a technique called forced chromatin looping in reprogramming gene expression in blood-forming cells," said hematology researcher Jeremy W. Rupon, M.D., Ph.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "If we can translate this approach to humans, we may enable new treatment options for patients."
Haematologists have long sought to reactivate fetal haemoglobin as a treatment for children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD), the painful, sometimes life-threatening genetic disorder that deforms red blood cells and disrupts normal circulation.
In the normal course of development, a biological switch flips during the production of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Regulatory elements in DNA shift the body from producing the fetal form of haemoglobin to producing the adult form instead. This transition occurs shortly after birth.
When patients with SCD undergo this transition, their inherited gene mutation distorts adult hemoglobin, forcing red blood cells to assume a sickled shape.
The researchers used a specialized tool, a genetically engineered zinc finger (ZF) protein, which they custom-designed to latch onto a specific DNA site carrying the code for fetal hemoglobin.
They attached the ZF to another protein that forced a chromatin loop to form. The loop then activated gene expression that produced embryonic hemoglobin in blood-forming cells from adult mice.
The team obtained similar results in human adult red blood cells, forcing the cells to produce fetal hemoglobin.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in New Orleans.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- Street food in Delhi contains high levels of faecal matter
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Meet 92-year-old Phyllis Sues who dances toTango
- Watch: ISIS prisoner digging his own grave
- TERI panel finds RK Pachauri guilty in sexual harassment case
- Rajasthan: High Court raps Chief Secy, DGP for failing to end Gujjar agitation
- 50 percent refund on Tatkal ticket cancellation
- Priyanka, Ranveer talk about their film 'Dil Dhadakne Do'
- Erstwhile Mysuru kingdom gets new king
- Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi meets PM Modi
- UP: Govt to distribute free sanitary napkins to all girls in school
- DNA: Pentagon report says Beijing accelerates land reclamation in South China Sea
- Delhi HC turns down plea challenging LG Jung's authority
- Rahul Gandhi takes another dig at NDA govt, says Manmohan gave lessons on economy to PM Modi
- Delhi HC backs LG, turns down plea challenging Jung's authority
- WB Class 12 (HS) Result 2015 declared on wbresults.nic.in, wbchse.nic.in
- No radioactive leak at IGI airport, say AERB and Delhi govt
- WBCHSE (wbchse.nic.in & wbresults.nic.in): West Bengal Class 12th Result to be declared on May 29
- CBSE (cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in) Class 10th (X Board) Result 2015 declared
- Log on to wbresults.nic.in, wbchse.nic.in for WB Class 12 (HS) Result 2015 WBCHSE
- WBCHSE (wbchse.nic.in & wbresults.nic.in): West Bengal Class 12th Result 2015 to be announced shortly
- CBSE 10th Result 2015: CBSE (cbse.ac.in & cbseresults.ac.in) Class 10 (X Board) Result shortly
- Cbseresults.nic.in working now, check your CBSE Class 10 Board Results 2015
- cbse.nic.in Board Results 2015: CBSE Class 10 Results declared on cbseresults.nic.in
- Watch: Young Sikh boy takes on a bully outside UK school
- Dangerous levels of toxins in Delhi's air as heat and dust intensify
- Check out: Salman Khan goes across the border in 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' teaser
- Breast cancer changes bone structure to make it spread: Study