Washington: A new study has revealed that scientists may soon be able to cure cardiovascular diseases with drugs, after researchers identified defects in a colossal heart protein which often leads to stroke and heart failure.
Professor Tony Lai from the Sir Geraint Evans Wales Heart Research Institute (WHRI) at Cardiff University School of Medicine said that their research has revealed that a genetic alteration in the largest membrane protein, responsible for triggering each and every heartbeat, produces a small structural defect that alters the rhythm of the heart.
The protein, known as the Ryanodine Receptor (RyR), provides the pulse of calcium release that is required for each heart muscle cell to contract. Scientists found that inherited mutations in this protein produce a subtle change in the pattern of calcium release, which results in an unstable heartbeat that leads to dramatic loss of rhythm and sudden death.
The researchers said that for the first time we have been able to obtain a precise molecular picture of this tiny defect. This new insight into the RyR protein's intricate structure and function will assist in the development of novel therapeutic drugs that corrects this molecular defect.
They now need to begin screening people for this genetic flaw, so that steps can be taken to offset their chances of developing heart disease.
The study was published in International Union of Crystallography Journal.