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Matrix modulation in monocytes

By | January 17, 2001

The interactions of cells with the extracellular matrix (ECM) are critical for orchestrating immune and inflammatory responses. In the December Immunity, de Fougerolles et al. report a comprehensive analysis of gene expression profiles affected by the attachment of monocytes to fibronectin and other ECM components (Immunity 2000, 13:749-758). They used a quantitative, restriction enzyme-based profiling method, named GeneCalling, to examine the integrin-mediated induction of genes in the monocy

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New model for HIV infection proposed

By | January 17, 2001

Two strains of HIV have been discovered that attack the immune system in a new way, according to research published in the January issue of Nature Medicine. It was previously thought that HIV largely affects CD4+ T cells, leaving CD8+ cells relatively untouched. Although two HIV strains from infected CD8+ cells had previously been isolated, it was not known whether their structures were different from those of strains that infect CD4+ cells.In the new research, Saha and colleagues show that neit

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US National Institutes of Health to increase emphasis on minorities

By | January 16, 2001

To increase research on minority health problems, the US government has established the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

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Another candidate gene for asthma?

By | January 15, 2001

There are several chromosomal regions where asthma-associated genes are known to be located. These include a region on the long arm of chromosome 3 that is linked with other immune system related diseases such as Crohn's or systemic lupus erythematosus.In research published in the January issue of European Respiratory Journal, Koichiro Asano and colleagues from Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, examined the DNA sequence of a gene in this region of chromosome 3 that encodes a chemokine r

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Fetal tolerance

By | January 15, 2001

Indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) activity protects the foetus by suppressing T-cell-driven local inflammatory responses to foetal alloantigens.

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Gene discovery awakens interest in sleep disorder

By | January 15, 2001

Researchers from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City have identified the genetic component of Familial Advanced Sleep-Phase Syndrome (FASPS), the inherited form of Advanced Sleep-Phase Syndrome (ASPS), which affects around one third of the elderly population. People with the rare FASPS, which was discovered in 1999, tend to fall asleep at about 7pm and awake spontaneously at 2am and 4am.In research published in the online version of Science, Toh et al. examined a large family that suffers fro

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How melanomas avoid apoptosis

By | January 15, 2001

Many cancers become resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs thanks to loss of the p53 protein, which promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in response to certain drugs. Metastatic melanomas are unusual in that, despite their chemoresistance, they retain functional p53. In the January 11 Nature, Soengas et al. find that these melanomas still lose the p53 pathway thanks to deletion and methylation of the p53 effector Apaf-1 (Nature 2001, 409:207-211). The Apaf-1 locus shows over 40% loss of heteroz

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How to get hot

By | January 15, 2001

The same duplication event arises in multiple lines of bacteria as they adapt to heat.

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Rapid SNP scanning

By | January 15, 2001

Mass spectrometry and pooled DNA samples allow for rapid genotyping of SNPs.

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Heritability of clotting factors

By | January 12, 2001

Genetic factors have a major effect on plasma concentrations of haemostatic proteins; age also has a significant effect.

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