Breaking News
December 12, 2018 - 10 Facts on Patient Safety
December 12, 2018 - Poorest dying nearly 10 years younger than the rich in ‘deeply worrying’ trend for UK
December 12, 2018 - Innovative care model for children with ASD reduces use of behavioral drugs in ED
December 12, 2018 - Simple measures to prevent weight gain over Christmas
December 12, 2018 - Research advances offer hope for patient-tailored AML treatment
December 12, 2018 - Researchers discover a ‘blind spot’ in atomic force microscopy
December 12, 2018 - Sprayable gel could help prevent recurrences of cancer after surgery
December 12, 2018 - SLU researchers explore how fetal exposure to inflammation can alter immunity in newborns
December 12, 2018 - How do patients want to discuss symptoms with clinicians?
December 12, 2018 - Zinc chelation may be able to deliver drug to insulin-producing cells
December 12, 2018 - Brigham researchers develop automated, low-cost tool to predict a woman’s ovulation
December 12, 2018 - Some people with Type 2 diabetes may be testing their blood sugar more often than needed
December 12, 2018 - Slow-growing type of glioma may be vulnerable to immunotherapy, suggests study
December 12, 2018 - Study provides new information regarding microRNA function in cellular homeostasis of zebrafish
December 12, 2018 - Study provides new understanding of mysterious ‘hereditary swelling’
December 12, 2018 - Researchers shed new light on how to combat Shiga and ricin toxins
December 12, 2018 - Pregnant Women Commonly Refuse Vaccines
December 12, 2018 - Drug treatment could offer new hope for some patients with brain bleeding
December 12, 2018 - Health care financial burden of animal-related injuries is growing, study says
December 12, 2018 - Macrophage cells could help repair the heart following a heart attack, study finds
December 12, 2018 - Researchers develop new system for efficiently producing human norovirus
December 12, 2018 - New artificial intelligence-based system to differentiate between different types of cancer cells
December 11, 2018 - Brazilian professors propose guidelines for therapeutic use of melatonin
December 11, 2018 - Healthy Lifestyle Lowers Odds of Breast Cancer’s Return
December 11, 2018 - New research identifies two genes linked to serious congenital heart condition
December 11, 2018 - NIH Director talks science, STEM careers with preteens
December 11, 2018 - Disabling a Cellular Antivirus System Could Improve Gene Therapy
December 11, 2018 - New tool swiftly provides accurate measure of patients’ cognitive difficulties
December 11, 2018 - NICE releases new guidelines for diagnosis and management of COPD
December 11, 2018 - Without Obamacare penalty, think it’ll be nice to drop your plan? Better think twice
December 11, 2018 - Researchers capture high-resolution X-ray and NMR image of key immune regulator
December 11, 2018 - Natural flavonoid is effective at treating leishmanisis infections, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Avoidant grievers unconsciously monitor and block mind-wandering contents, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Study identifies how hantaviruses infect lung cells
December 11, 2018 - Improving PTSD care through genetics
December 11, 2018 - Dermatology providers show interest in recommending cannabinoids to patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers to study effects of electroconvulsive therapy on Alzheimer’s patients with aggression
December 11, 2018 - Four dried fruits have lower glycemic index than starchy foods, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Optimization of drug dose sizes can reduce pharmaceutical wastage
December 11, 2018 - Ultrarestrictive opioid prescribing strategy linked with reduction in number of pills dispensed
December 11, 2018 - PET scans to optimize tuberculosis meningitis treatments and personalize care, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Researchers aim to identify and target high blood pressure indicators
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify immune cell subset that may drive chronic inflammation
December 11, 2018 - Ezogabine treatment reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS patients, study shows
December 11, 2018 - One implant, two prices. It depends on who’s paying.
December 11, 2018 - Standardizing feeding practices improves growth trends for micro-preemies
December 11, 2018 - COPD Tied to Obesity in Male, Female Never-Smokers
December 11, 2018 - Flossing: Information for Caregivers
December 11, 2018 - Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?
December 11, 2018 - Educating future doctors to prescribe physical activity for their patients
December 11, 2018 - Krystal 2000 microplate design improves fluorescence and luminescence measurement
December 11, 2018 - FDA clears mobile medical app to help increase retention in recovery program for opioid use disorder
December 11, 2018 - Overcoming Challenges in High-Speed Centrifugation Experiments
December 11, 2018 - Study shows link between neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status and dietary choices
December 11, 2018 - Lower BMI before obesity surgery predicts greater post-operative weight loss, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Obesity May Be Driving Rise in Uterine Cancers
December 11, 2018 - Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
December 11, 2018 - Study discovers link between meditation and how individuals respond to feedback
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify potential diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease
December 11, 2018 - Oral cancer prognostic signature identified
December 11, 2018 - How Can I Find Out What Caused My Miscarriage?
December 11, 2018 - Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed
December 11, 2018 - Study uncovers 11 new genes associated with epilepsy
December 11, 2018 - Filling research gaps could help develop more disability-inclusive workplaces
December 11, 2018 - Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects
December 11, 2018 - Novel 3D printing workflow helps predict leaky heart valves
December 11, 2018 - Imagination can help overcome fear and anxiety-related disorders, shows study
December 11, 2018 - Are caries linked to political regime?
December 11, 2018 - Leader in Diabetes Clinical Trials Wins Naomi Berrie Award
December 11, 2018 - Scientists discover cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans
December 11, 2018 - Increasing mental health problems related to drug use in over 55’s
December 11, 2018 - High-intensity interval exercise could help combat cognitive dysfunction in obese people
December 11, 2018 - Annual flu shot can save lives of heart failure patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals
December 11, 2018 - Recommendations Developed for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
December 11, 2018 - Genetic analysis links obesity with diabetes, coronary artery disease
December 11, 2018 - Study shows that having genetic information can affect how the body responds
December 11, 2018 - UNAIDS Report: 9 Million Are Likely HIV Positive And Don't Know It
December 11, 2018 - Lund University researchers succeed in obtaining dendritic cells by direct reprogramming
December 11, 2018 - Breast tumors recruit bone marrow cells to boost their growth, study reveals
Epigenetic maps of the inner ear could lead to development of therapeutics for hearing loss

Epigenetic maps of the inner ear could lead to development of therapeutics for hearing loss

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Epigenetics is the expression and control of genes. The epigenetics involved in the inner ear is a critical part of the mystery of hearing. A team led by Prof. Karen B. Avraham, Vice Dean of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, has now created the first map of “methylation” — one of the body’s main epigenetic signals — that reflects the functioning of the inner ear in its entirety.

Prof. Avraham collaborated on the study with TAU doctoral student Ofer Yizhar-Barnea and Prof. R. David Hawkins and other colleagues from the University of Washington and the Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Italy. Their research was published in a study in Scientific Reports on November 26.

“Our analysis of the DNA methylation dynamics revealed a large number of new genes that are critical for the development of the inner ear and the onset of hearing itself,” Prof. Avraham says. “Instead of looking at one gene at a time, we employed sophisticated genomic technologies to examine all the genes in one snapshot. This allowed us to have a genome-wide view of the regulatory dynamics of the inner ear as a whole.”

The life cycle of hearing

Humans are born with a lifetime allowance of inner ear hair cells, the inner ear cells responsible for hearing. Once the cells die due to genetic mutations, excessive exposure to noise, ototoxic drugs or aging, they don’t regenerate. Some 34 million children worldwide suffer from incapacitating hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization. Among the elderly, hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of dementia, and hearing aids and cochlear implants provide only partial solutions to an urgent medical issue facing young and old alike.

“Epigenetic signals — among them methylation — don’t allow the genes that could regenerate hair cells to be turned on,” Prof. Avraham says. “If we can discover how these genes are controlled — how they’re turned on and off — we may be able to modify these signals to allow regeneration to happen.

“This would allow us to transform cells in the inner ear to become functional hair cells or create new ones to allow for proper hearing. We hope that our epigenetic maps of the inner ear will provide entry points into the development of therapeutics for hearing loss.”

The role of epigenetics

Epigenetics does not change the genetic code, but how the code is read. Methylation is the direct addition of a chemical group (methyl, CH3) onto the C nucleotides in the DNA molecule and is considered one of the most basic epigenetic mechanisms. DNA methylation serves as the on/off switch for the genome.

Prof. Howard Cedar of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a world authority on methylation who was not involved in the research, says, “While our genes provide the instructions for how to make the building blocks of the hearing system, understanding how these components are controlled to provide proper hearing requires additional epigenetic information. The research directed by Prof. Avraham and her colleagues provides, for the first time, insights into how this works and reveals important clues on how we may be able to prevent or correct a wide variety of hearing ailments.”

In the course of their research, the scientists discovered that inner ear cells follow a similar methylation pattern as the brain and neurons, suggesting they have a similar plasticity. This plasticity may allow for the introduction of regulatory elements to induce regeneration. The scientists validated their findings using state-of-the-art CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. They found a critical regulatory element for a deafness gene, connexin 30.

“The development of this work was constrained by our limited knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the inner ear,” Prof. Avraham concludes. “Epigenetic modification of gene expression, possibly by reversing abnormal DNA methylation, may offer a way of awakening the very genes that block regeneration from occurring.”

Source:

https://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?&storyid4704=2424&ncs4704=3

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles