DNA hypomethylation makes humans prone to diseases
22.05.2012 - A Polish-US research team has found that hypomethylation destablises DNA and boosts the risk of neurological diseases.
Warsaw/Houston –Bioinformaticians from Warsaw University and the Baylor College of Medicine have provided an explanation for how disease-associated mutation hotspots may arise. According to results of the group under Aleksandar Milosavljevic and Tomasz Gambin, regions on human chromosomes that carry only few so-called methylation marks show a tenfold higher number of structural mutations than the genome-wide average. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, developmental delay, and autism had a significant higher amount of such predetermined breaking points, (PloS Genetics 8(5): e1002692).
The researchers suggest that the amount of methylation might mediate genomic stability. They compared methylome maps from human sperm cell samples with publicly available structural variation data. Their results points to a strong association of germline hypomethylation and genomic instability which might lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. "We have found that these rare and de novo structural variants, as well as changes of the human genome that have accumulated the fastest since the branching chimpanzee, are significantly concentrated within methylation deserts," senior author Aleksandar Milosavljevic, a molecular and human genetics researcher at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a statement.
Lack of methylation of genomic DNA has been previously associated with high structural mutability in gibbons and in human cancer cells, but the association with structural mutability in the human germline has not been explored prior to this study.
05.02.2016 It is not yet clear why a man died during a first-in-man clinical trial in January. However, a preliminary report found several “major shortcomings” by responsible CRO Biotrial. However, all regulations were complied with.
04.02.2016 After having dodged multiple takeover attempts by Monsanto last year, agrobusiness giant Syngenta has now agreed to be acquired by chemical corporation ChemChina. The Swiss company also announced plans to go public within a few years.
01.02.2016 Altering human DNA with the efficient gene editing method CRISPR/Cas9, especially germline modifications, was long considered a taboo. Now, however, UK scientists have received official approval to tinker with embryo DNA.
27.01.2016 Three UK universities have teamed up with three pharma companies to create the Apollo Therapeutics Fund. With the tech transfer fund, the consortium aims to develop scientific research into medicines.
25.01.2016 Affimed means to put a promising drug combination to the test. With support from MSD, the German biopharma will carry out clinical trials for an immunotherapy combining treatments of both companies.
21.01.2016 Stop squandering antibiotics and make research profitable again: at the World Economic Forum in Swiss Davos, 83 pharmaceutical companies have called for a unified approach towards the threat of antimicrobial resistance.