Prader-Willi Syndrome Reversed in Brain Cells Growing in the Lab
[Source: Science Daily]
Stem cell researchers at UConn Health have reversed Prader-Willi syndrome in brain cells growing in the lab, findings they recently published in the Human Molecular Genetics.
The discovery provides clues that could lead to a treatment for Prader-Willi, a genetic disorder that occurs in about one out of every 15,000 births, and is the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity.
Unlike many genetic syndromes that are caused by a mutation in a gene, people with Prader Willi often have the right gene available — it’s simply that it’s been silenced.
The gene is silenced because it is on the part of their chromosome they inherited from their mother, and for mysterious reasons our cells use the father’s copy of this gene. But if the father’s copy is missing, the cells can’t express that gene at all.
UConn Health’s Maeva Langouet, a post-doctoral fellow; Marc Lalande, professor of Genetics and Genome Sciences; and their colleagues wondered if it was possible to reverse the silencing of the mother’s copy.
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