Do Popeye proteins lead to heart disease?
Modelling human heart disease in the zebrafish: functional analysis of the zebrafish Popeye domain containing genes in the heart
Thomas Brand (lead researcher)
Imperial College London (NHLI)
Start date: 01 September 2015 (Duration 3 years)
Popeye domain containing (Popdc) proteins, named after the cartoon character, are highly expressed in the heart and muscles. Mutations in Popdc genes have been associated with heart rhythm disorders and muscular dystrophy.
Professor Thomas Brand believes Popdc proteins transport ion channels to and from the cell surface where they can activate contraction. He has shown that this transport is in response to the concentration of a signalling molecule called cyclic AMP. Interestingly, cyclic AMP is produced in heart cells when an increased heart rate is required, such as when we run, swim, or climb the stairs. Professor Thomas Brand and his team from Imperial College London have shown that changes in Popdc genes cause similar symptoms in zebrafish to those seen in humans. The researchers will use the zebrafish model to understand how these genetic changes effect heart function.
||01 September 2015
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