Researchers from Britain, Italy and Australia have made an amazing discovery.
Biologists made an amazing discovery. Studying the genes responsible for the development of cancer, they found that one of them can initiate the regeneration of heart cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications (translation – ria.ru).
Researchers from Britain, Italy and Australia, studying the expression of genes responsible for cancer development, found that if one of them is the Myc gene is to make an active and functional in the heart of the mouse, it starts the process of regeneration.
“It’s really exciting, because scientists have been trying to make heart cells to proliferate, but none of the modern methods of treatment of diseases of the heart is not able to reverse the degeneration of cardiac tissue. They only slow down the progression of the disease. We have now discovered such a method in a mouse model” — are in the press release of the University of Cambridge the words of head of research Dr. Catherine Wilson (Catherine Wilson).
Cell cycle, by which cells make copies of themselves, is strictly controlled in mammalian cells. Cancer develops when cells multiply, and the Myc gene plays a key role in the vast majority of cancer cases, so biologists pay special attention in studies on biological mechanisms of cancer.
Scientists usually try to turn off this gene or to bring it under control, but in this case the researchers went the opposite way. Making the Myc gene is hyperactive, they saw the bodies of mice — liver and lung — the cells began to multiply with great speed and their number has increased dramatically in just a few days.
Then they tried to reproduce the same effect on the cells of the heart. However, in the heart of the Myc though, and produced a protein called a transcription factor, heart cells began to replicate, because the protein could not activate gene expression. It turned out that controlled the activity of Myc in cardiac muscle cells of mice is critically dependent on the level of another protein called Cyclin T1, which is produced in the cells a gene Ccnt1. When scientists added Cyclin T1 in cells with hyperactive Myc, they began to replicate.
“When these two genes were co-sverkhekspressiya in cardiac muscle cells of adult mice, we saw extensive cell replication, which led to a significant increase in the number of cardiac muscle cells,” says Wilson.
After a heart attack heart adult human can lose up to one billion cardiomyocytes — cardiac muscle cells. In contrast, cells of many other organs of the body, these cells are never replaced. Their loss reduces the power of the heart and causes scarring, heart failure and ultimately death.
Because it was believed that the heart of an adult animal or human is unable to repair itself after damage, the fact that scientists have found — a true scientific breakthrough, the results of which, as the authors hope, in the future will form the basis of a new method of treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
“The inability of the heart to heal itself is a significant unmet clinical need, explains Wilson. We found that even when Myc is included in the heart, there are no tools to make it work. This may be one of the reasons why cancer of the heart is very rare. Now we know what is missing, we can add it and force the cells to multiply”.
The researchers hope to develop his discovery in a separate area of genetic therapy for heart disease.