Researchers discover gene that helps control the production of stomach acid

Nov 03, 2008

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have discovered a gene that helps control the secretion of acid in the stomach—information that could one day aid scientists in creating more efficient treatment options for conditions such as acid reflux or peptic ulcers.

This data is published in the Nov. 3 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

UC professor Manoocher Soleimani, MD, and colleagues found that when transporter Slc26a9—the gene responsible for the production of chloride in the stomach—is eliminated from the mouse model's system, acid secretion in the stomach stops.

Gastric acid, comprised mainly of hydrochloric acid (HCL), is the main secretion in the stomach and helps the body to break down and digest food.

"Investigators were already aware of the gene that caused hydrogen to secrete in the stomach, but the gene that caused chloride to secrete has remained an unknown," Soleimani says. "When we knocked out—or eliminated—this specific transporter in mouse models, acid secretion in the stomach completely halted."

"The hydrogen and chloride genes must work together in order for the stomach to produce acid and function normally."

Soleimani, director of UC's nephrology division and principal investigator of the study, hopes that this data can help researchers create more therapies for people who overproduce stomach acid.

"A very large number of people have acid reflux—caused by regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus—or peptic ulcers—caused by the passing of excess stomach acid into the small intestine," Soleimani says. "This occurs because of overproduction of acid in the stomach, and current medications that help control this condition cause undesirable side effects."

He adds that long-term use of these kinds of drugs could cause damage to the lining of the stomach, among other problems.

"With this information, we hope to one day be able to administer gene therapies to patients and avoid this painful and damaging problem altogether," he says.

Source: University of Cincinnati

Explore further: A nucleotide change could initiate fragile X syndrome

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient

Apr 11, 2013

According to animal scientists, farmers could further protect the environment by breeding chickens with larger digestive organs. This research, published in the February issue of the Journal of Animal Science, could solve ...

Recommended for you

A nucleotide change could initiate fragile X syndrome

19 hours ago

Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide—the basic building block of DNA—could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. The study appears ...

Gene clues to glaucoma risk

Aug 31, 2014

Scientists on Sunday said they had identified six genetic variants linked to glaucoma, a discovery that should help earlier diagnosis and better treatment for this often-debilitating eye disease.

Mutation disables innate immune system

Aug 29, 2014

A Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich team has shown that defects in the JAGN1 gene inhibit the function of a specific type of white blood cells, and account for a rare congenital immune deficiency that ...

Study identifies genetic change in autism-related gene

Aug 28, 2014

A new study from Bradley Hospital has identified a genetic change in a recently identified autism-associated gene, which may provide further insight into the causes of autism. The study, now published online in the Journal of ...

NIH issues finalized policy on genomic data sharing

Aug 27, 2014

The National Institutes of Health has issued a final NIH Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) policy to promote data sharing as a way to speed the translation of data into knowledge, products and procedures that improve health while ...

User comments : 0