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: Research uncovers DNA looping damage tied to HPV cancer

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

Research uncovers DNA looping damage tied to HPV cancer

3 hours ago

It's long been known that certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause cancer. Now, researchers at The Ohio State University have determined a new way that HPV might spark cancer development – by ...

New therapy against rare gene defects

Apr 15, 2014

On 15th April is the 1st International Pompe Disease Day, a campaign to raise awareness of this rare but severe gene defect. Pompe Disease is only one of more than 40 metabolic disorders that mainly affect children under ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

US judge overturns state's abortion law

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant.

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Japan lawmakers demand continued whaling

Japanese lawmakers on Wednesday demanded the government redesign its "research" whaling programme to circumvent an international court ruling that described the programme as a commercial hunt dressed up as ...