×
E-PAPER ▾

E-paper

HEALTH & FITNESS

This 'selfish' gene may prevent heart disease

| | New York
This 'selfish' gene may prevent heart disease
Scientists have identified a "selfish" gene that can potentially remove cholesterol from blood vessels and help prevent heart disease.
 
The gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels.
 
In mice, MeXis was found to control the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out of cells in the artery wall, said researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).
 
In the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers found that mice lacking MeXis had almost twice as many blockages in their blood vessels compared to mice with normal MeXis levels. 
 
In addition, boosting MeXis levels made cells more effective at removing excess cholesterol.
 
MeXis is an example of a "selfish" gene, one that is presumed to have no function because it does not make a protein product. 
 
However, new studies have suggested that these so-called "unhelpful" genes can actually perform important biological functions without making proteins and also produce a special class of molecules called long non-coding RNAs, or lncRNAs.
 
"The idea that lncRNAs are directly involved in very common ailments such as plaque build-up within arteries offers new ways of thinking about how to treat and diagnose heart disease," said lead author Tamer Sallam, Assistant Professor at the UCLA. 
 
"There is likely a good reason why genes that make RNAs rather than proteins exist. A key question for us moving forward is how they may be involved in health and disease," Sallam added.
 
Considering many genes like MeXis have completely unknown functions, the study suggests that further exploring how other long non-coding RNAs act will lead to exciting insights into both normal physiology and disease, the researchers said.
 
 
 
 
 

TOP STORIES

Sunday Edition

View All

K’taka CM plants paddy saplings in solidarity with agriculturists

12 Aug 2018 | Kestur Vasuki | Bengaluru

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy who is facing wrath from the farmers in the State, in an appealing gesture planted paddy saplings in solidarity on Saturday. He chose Aralukuppe village in Mandya district the heart land of vokkaliga politics sowed paddy saplings in a muddied agriculture field amidst a large gathering...

Read More

STATE EDITIONS

View All

Steel sector witnessing positive growth: Narendran

17 Aug 2018 | PNS | Jamshedpur

Tata Steel celebrated Nation’s 72nd Independence Day with patriotic fervour at its Jamshedpur Works and across its locations. The celebrations began with TV Narendran, CEO& Managing Director Tata Steel, hoisting the tricolor, which was followed by a ceremonial march past and the National Anthem...

Read More

Page generated in 0.2665 seconds.