Dr. Cripps' Lab Discover Gene Controlling Muscle Fate
Posted: Sep 29, 2014 - 12:00pm
Scientists at the University of New Mexico have moved a step closer to improving medical science through research involving muscle manipulation of fruit flies. They discovered in the flight muscles of Drosophila a new regulator of a process called alternative splicing. Their findings give additional hope that could help treat diseases such as myotonic dystrophy, a multisystem disorder affecting skeletal and smooth muscle as well as the eye, heart, endocrine system and central nervous system.
The research, titled “Arrest is a regulator of fiber-specific alternative splicing in the indirect flight muscles of Drosophila,” was published recently in the Journal of Cell Biology. It was funded by a $200,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
“Though previous studies have suggested the involvement of alternative mRNA splicing in the formation of different muscle fiber types—a process critical to normal human physiology—Dr. Cripps and his colleagues have provided mechanistic insights into exactly how this happens,” said Tanya Hoodbhoy, of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. “Such details about the biology underlying correct muscle fiber type specification will help researchers better understand the development of diseases where alternative splicing is affected, such as myotonic dystrophy 1.”
Read the full article at UNM Newsroom.