Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Proteomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

"Popeye" Proteins Help the Heart Adapt to Stress

Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Study help scientists to develop new treatments for abnormal heart rhythms.

A family of proteins named after Popeye play an essential role in allowing the heart to respond to stress, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The finding could help scientists develop new treatments for abnormal heart rhythms.

Popeye domain containing proteins (Popdc for short) were discovered 10 years ago and named because they are found in abundance in muscles, but until now their function has been unclear.

The new study reveals that they help the heart to increase its rhythm in response to the hormone adrenaline, which is released in times of mental or physical stress.

Scientists at Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Würzburg in Germany studied mice that were deficient in Popdc proteins.

In healthy people and mice, the heart's natural pacemaker responds to adrenaline by making the heart beat faster in order to deliver more oxygen around the body.

But in the mice that lacked Popdc, the heart rate slowed when they were put in stressful situations.

Many elderly people's heart rates slow down in a similar way in response to stress. These people may be diagnosed with a condition called sick sinus syndrome, which normally means they need to have an artificial pacemaker fitted.

The researchers anticipate that the findings might lead to new treatments for this and other heart rhythm disorders that can be triggered by stress, such as arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.

Professor Thomas Brand, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, who led the study, said: "Many elderly people have problems with the natural pacemaker in their heart that can be triggered by stress, but we still know little about the exact mechanics of the heart's response. These findings show that in mice, Popdc proteins have an important function in regulating the heart's rhythm and it is reasonable to deduce that the same is true in humans. Mice with mutations in the genes for these proteins have the same abnormal stress responses as some elderly people do.

"Studying these mice further will give us more clues about what goes wrong in the heart's pacemaker, and might help us develop new drugs for heart rhythm disorders. We also plan to look at the Popdc genes in people with sick sinus syndrome, to see whether mutations there might be connected to the condition."

Popdc is located in the outer membrane of the heart's specialized pacemaker cells.

The researchers found that Popdc interacts with a signalling molecule triggered by adrenaline, known as cAMP, and that this changes the electrical properties of the cell membrane.

They think that this might be the mechanism by which adrenaline influences the heart's rhythm.

"During exercise, the heartbeat can increase by three times over its resting rate, enabling the muscles to work harder," Professor Brand said.

Professor Brand continued, "This is mainly brought about by adrenaline, but how adrenaline acts on the heart's cells is not fully understood. This study helps us understand the mechanism by which the heart adapts to stress."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Crucial Reaction for Vision Revealed
Scientists have tracked the reaction of a protein responding to light, paving the way for a new understanding of life's essential reactions.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Bacterial Motors Unveiled
Nanoscopic 3D imaging has revealed how different bacteria have geared their tiny propeller motors for a wide range of swimming abilities.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Infant Milk Formula Does Not Reduce Risk of Eczema and Allergies, Says New Study
Researchers at Imperial College London have found a type of baby formula does not reduce allergy risk - despite previous claims to the contrary.
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Flu Virus Hijacking Tactics Revealed
Scientists at Imperial College London have discovered how flu viruses 'hijack' cell machinery when they infect the body.
Thursday, January 07, 2016
Discovery of Trigger for Bugs’ Defences Could Lead to New Antibiotics
New research shows that sigma54 holds a bacterium’s defences back until it encounters stress.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Breakthrough Could Lead to New Antibiotics
Scientists have exposed a chink in the armour of disease-causing bugs, with a new discovery about a protein that controls bacterial defences.
Friday, August 21, 2015
New Genetic Form of Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
Scientists have discovered a new inherited form of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Protein That Boosts Immunity to Viruses and Cancer Discovered
Researchers now developing a gene therapy designed to boost the infection-fighting cells.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Biomarker Discovery Sheds New Light on Heart Attack Risk of Arthritis Drugs
Drug may be given a new lease of life.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
First Pictures of BRCA2 Protein Show How it Works to Repair DNA
Researchers purified the protein and used electron microscopy to reveal its structure.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Protein ‘Map’ Could Lead to Potent New Cancer Drugs
Findings will help scientists to design drugs that could target NMT enzyme.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
New Developments in Big, Open Access Data for Dementia
Prime Minister, David Cameron, pledged a UK commitment to discover new drugs and treatment that could slow down the on-set of dementia or even deliver a cure by 2025.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
New Discovery Gives Hope that Nerves Could be Repaired After Spinal Cord Injury
Research highlights the role of a protein called P300/CBP-associated factor.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Scientists Design Protein to Prevent Prostate Cancer Cell Growth
New protein blocks the hormone receptors and consequently stops cancer cells from growing in the laboratory.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Designer Protein to Prevent Prostate Cancer Cell Growth
Researchers are creating a "designer" protein that could be effective at treating prostate cancer when other therapies fail.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Scientific News
Detecting Alzheimer's with Smell Test
Odour identification test may offer low-cost alternative for predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Fighting Cancer Through Protein Pathways
Researchers have found a new drug target within a protein production pathway critical to regulating growth and proliferation of cells.
Uncovering Rhinovirus C Structure
Researchers have determined the structure of rhinovirus C. Their findings may aid the development of antiviral therapies and vaccines.
New Centre Offers Ultra-Speed Protein Analysis
UW-Madison researchers to establish development centre for next-gen protein measurement technologies.
Protein Nanocages Could Improve Drug Design and Delivery
HHMI scientists have designed and built 10 large protein icosahedra that are similar to viral capsids that carry viral DNA.
Virus Inspired Cell Cargo Ships
Virus-inspired container design may lead to cell cargo ships following construction of ten large, two-component, icosahedral protein complexes.
Protein Reinforces Growth of Damaged Muscles
Biologists have found a protein involved in stem cells that bolsters damaged muscle tissue growth - potential for muscle degeneration treatments.
Structure of Cold Virus Solved
Researchers have identified the structure of an elusive cold virus linked to child asthma and respiratory infections, providing the foundation for treating the virus.
New Protein Model Could Accelerate Drug Development
Stony Brook-led international research team creates ultra-fast approach to model protein interactions.
Researchers Can Control Genes Involved in Cancer
A new way to control the activity of a protein, that is often upregulated in cancer, has been discovered by Moffitt researchers through monoubiquitination mechanism.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!