Washington: A new study has identified key genes that may contribute to high blood pressure.
The identified genes are messenger RNAs and micro RNAs present in the kidneys.
It also uncovered two microRNAs that contribute to the regulation of renin – a hormone long thought to play to part in controlling blood pressure.
Although scientists have long known that the kidneys play a role in regulating blood pressure, this is the first time that key genes involved in the process have been identified through a large, comprehensive gene expression analysis of the human kidneys.
It is also the first time that researchers have identified miRNAs that control the expression of the hormone renin.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a single-stranded molecule that helps in the production of protein from DNA. Genetic information is copied from DNA to mRNA strands, which provide a template from which the cell can make new proteins. MicroRNA (miRNA) is a very small molecule that helps regulate the process of converting mRNA into proteins.
“I am very excited about this publication. Renin is one of the most important contributors to blood pressure regulation,” said co-autho Dr Maciej Tomaszewski from University of Leicester’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences.
“The novel insights into its expression within the human kidney from this study open up new avenues for the development of new antihypertensive medications.
“The collection of hypertensive and normotensive kidneys is available for our studies in Leicester thanks to a long-term international collaboration. We will continue using this unique research resource in our further studies to decipher the genetic background of human hypertension,” he added.
The study has been published in the academic journal Hypertension.