Saving Tabby; C35 Expression as a Cancer Marker?; Interdisciplinary Research
Reprinted with permission from Nature © online April 7, 2003
Researchers in Switzerland reversed a genetic developmental defect in mice by injecting their pregnant mothers with a recombinant protein. These smaller-than-normal patients, so-called Tabby mice, lack specialized hairs, teeth, and sweat glands. Both Tabby and its human counterpart of this disease, an X-linked form of ectodermal dysplasia, result from a mutated gene that is highly conserved in mouse and man, ectodysplasin A, or EDA.
Pascal Schneider and colleagues at the University of Lausanne created a friendly Trojan horse of sorts by fusing a correct version of the EDA receptor-binding domain to the C-terminus of immunoglobulin G1's Fc domain. The Fc fusion ensures delivery through placental protein receptors as mother mouse passes immune protection on to her developing pups. The EDA enters the fetal systems...