Single Genetic Factor Key to Cardiovascular System

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Reduced levels or lack of a certain genetic factor are associated with heart failure and aortic aneurysm, say U.S. researchers.

This factor -- known as Kruppel-like Factor 15 (KLF15) -- protects the heart and aorta's ability to maintain structural and functional integrity. A team from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio found that patients with heart failure or aortic aneurysm had reduced levels of KLF15.

Research showed that the absence of the gene, combined with stress, was linked with both deadly conditions. Lab animals that lacked the gene were more likely to develop the cardiovascular diseases.

Further investigation revealed that KLF15 uses a common molecular mechanism to provide protective effects in the heart and aorta. Drugs that target this molecular pathway can be used to treat heart failure and aortic aneurysm, the researchers discovered.

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If the aneurysm bursts, death is possible.

The report is published in the April 7 online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"This is very rare to find a singular genetic factor that governs the response of the entire cardiovascular system. Our research proves that KLF15 governs the shared diseases of the heart and blood vessels," study senior author Dr. Mukesh K. Jain, director of the Case Cardiovascular Research Institute, said in a university news release.

The findings suggest that increasing the protective effects of KLF15 in the heart and aorta may prevent the start or progression of heart failure and aortic aneurysm, the researchers said.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about heart failure.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1566 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
54% - 8557 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
33% - 5285 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 506 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.17
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.63
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
16.59
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,802.29
0.0%
Silver
20.82
0.0%
Palladium
2,227.50
0.0%
Platinum
966.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
63,996
-1.0%
All Share
70,731
-0.8%
Resource 10
64,048
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,577
-0.6%
Financial 15
16,059
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE