New gene linked to congenital heart defects

Dec 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have identified a new gene, ETS-1, that is linked to human congenital heart defects. The landmark study, recently published online in the journal of Human Molecular Genetics, provides important insights into some of the most prevalent forms of congenital heart defects in humans, including ventricular septal defects and potentially hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a uniformly fatal heart abnormality.

"Identification of this gene may have implications for prevention of some of these most common types of congenital ," said Dr. Paul Grossfeld, associate professor of pediatrics for the UC San Diego School of Medicine and pediatric cardiologist for Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego.

The researchers performed high-resolution chromosomal microarray mapping on human patients identified with the 11q- phenotype. Through a combination of human genetics and functional studies in genetically engineered mice, the researchers were able to pinpoint ETS-1 as a gene for causing at least a subset of the heart defects that occur in 11q- and the general human population.

Characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, Jacobsen syndrome, also known as 11q terminal deletion disorder (11q-), is a rare resulting from the partial loss of one copy of human chromosome number 11. It is the loss of genes that leads to multiple clinical challenges associated with 11q- such as congenital heart disease, developmental and behavioral problems, low platelet counts, gastrointestinal, urinary and ophthalmologic abnormalities, failure to thrive and slow growth.

"Nearly 15 years ago, in my first month of pediatric cardiology training at UC San Diego, I came across my first patient with 11q-. To this day, I still care for this child," said Grossfeld. "Since then, I have devoted my career to learning everything about this syndrome and hope that we have now more clearly defined the path to understanding, and perhaps preventing, some forms of congenital heart disease."

Explore further: Innovative 'genotype first' approach uncovers protective factor for heart disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No drop in IQ seen after bypass for child heart surgery

Nov 10, 2008

The use of cardiopulmonary bypass does not cause short-term neurological problems in children and teenagers after surgery for less complex heart defects, according to pediatric researchers. The new finding contrasts favorably ...

Recommended for you

Study clarifies parents as source of new disease mutations

23 hours ago

Scientists have long speculated that mosaicism – a biological phenomenon, in which cells within the same person have a different genetic makeup – plays a bigger role in the transmission of rare disease mutations than ...

How black truffles deal with the jumpers in their genome

Jul 31, 2014

The black truffle uses reversible epigenetic processes to regulate its genes, and adapt to changes in its surroundings. The 'methylome' - a picture of the genome regulation taking place in the truffle, is published in the ...

Gene research targets scarring process

Jul 28, 2014

Scientists have identified three genes that may be the key to preventing scar formation after burn injury, and even healing existing scars.

User comments : 0