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Friday, 30 November 2018

Micropeptide Restores Heart Function in Mice

Researchers had discovered a micropeptide named DWORF (Dwarf Open Reading Frame), which helps in maintaining the heart’s structural and functional effects during Cardiomyopathy. displacing a molecule that inhibits SERCA, DWORF can bind directly with SERCA (Calcium pump- essential for heart’s contraction and relaxation) and enhance its activity.

Recent studies suggested that DWORF works by called phospholamban (PLN). To investigate this further, they engineered mice to have higher levels of DWORF and/or PLN in the heart and then studied the effects.

The results were quite satisfying, the higher level of DWORF not only prevent the cardiomyopathy but also prevent its physical hallmarks. "Previous attempts to restore SERCA to protect against heart failure have been unsuccessful because they have focused on increasing levels of SERCA itself," explains senior author Eric Olson, Professor in Stem Cell Research at UT South-western Medical Centre.
"We believe that increasing levels of DWORF instead may be more feasible, and that the small size of the DWORF molecule could make it an attractive candidate for a gene therapy drug for heart failure."
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 Citation: Catherine A Makarewich, Amir Z Munir, Gabriele G Schiattarella, Svetlana Bezprozvannaya, Olga N Raguimova, Ellen E Cho, Alexander H Vidal, Seth L Robia, Rhonda Bassel- Duby, Eric N Olson. The DWORF micropeptide enhances contractility and prevents heart failure in a mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy. eLife, 2018; 7 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.38319


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