FEB 06, 2016 10:04 AM PST

Inhibitor Developed to Reverse A Genetic Heart Condition

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited heart condition that causes sudden death, especially in young athletes. HCM often results from a mutation in myosin protein, a “molecular motor” that works with actin in the heart to keep it pumping (Cell). Myosin mutations causing HCM increase the size of the muscular heart walls, making it harder for the heart to pump blood and oxygen to the body’s tissues. HCM affects every 1 in 500 people (American Heart Association).
 

 
In a new study from the University of Vermont published in the "Perspectives" column in the February 5, 2016 issue of the journal Science, professor David Warshaw, PhD, presents a molecular inhibitor that can reverse the myosin mutation causing HCM. He successfully saw the inhibitor prevent HCM in mice with the myosin mutation.
 
Mice and humans with the myosin mutation cause the protein to pull too powerfully on actin. "For the heart, this amounts to inducing cardiac fibrosis and muscle cell disarray that are characteristic of HCM patients,” Warshaw said. The inhibitor he used in his experiment reduces the myosin-actin pull to a normal level, producing a healthy heart.
 
A test can be done to tell if someone has the HCM mutation, so if a parent has HCM, their children will know to take the test and get treatment if they also have the condition. However, the experimental drug used in this study to treat mice with HCM will have to be modified for clinical use in humans before the drug will be available.
 
"This may offer a generalized approach to solving hypertrophic cardiomyopathy," Warshaw said. "I think it's extremely promising."
 
 
Source: University of Vermont School of Medicine
 
 
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
DEC 28, 2019
Health & Medicine
DEC 28, 2019
Consider Skipping The Post-Workout Ice Bath
In an effort to get heart-healthy, many people have experienced the painful after-effects of an intense workout. Weather ...
FEB 21, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 21, 2020
Poor Sleep Increases Heart Disease Risk in Women
Researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center have found that women who don’t sleep well leading tend ...
MAR 06, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 06, 2020
Why Is Good Nutrition Advise So Hard to Come By
Nutrition advice seems to come from everywhere. Exposure to this advice, one is likely to find endless examples of confl ...
APR 07, 2020
Cardiology
APR 07, 2020
Heart Attack Doctors Sit Idle Amid Coronavirus Fears
Across the United States, doctors have reported that hospitals are eerily quiet apart from wards housing patients diagno ...
APR 10, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
APR 10, 2020
Cardiac Patch Repairs Heart Attack Damage in Pigs and Rats
Heart attacks significantly damage cardiac tissue. Recovery time frames from a heart attack thus depend on the extent to ...
MAY 04, 2020
Cardiology
MAY 04, 2020
Machine Learning May Help in the Diagnosis of Inherited High Cholesterol
Familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH, is an inherited genetic mutation in how the body recycles LDL cholesterol (bad cho ...
Loading Comments...