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Genetically Modified Fruit Fly Study Points to ER Protein Role in Motor Disorder, Heart Rate

Researchers at the University of Bonn and other centers consider the consequences of knocking out a "cysteine-rich with EGF-like domain" (Creld) endoplasmic reticulum (ER) gene previously implicated in Parkinson's disease for a paper in Science Advances. Using genetically modified Drosophila fruit fly models, the team detected slower-than-usual heart rates and severe motor disorder symptoms in flies missing Creld, consistent with ties between the ER protein and the function of energy producing mitochondrial organelles in the cell — findings validated in Xenopus tropicalis claw frog embryos and human cell experiments. Through a series of follow-up analyses, the authors saw signs that such symptoms may stem from altered ER-mitochondria interactions and related mitochondrial respiratory complex activity shifts. "We found that loss of Creld leads to mitochondrial hyperfusion and reduced [reactive oxygen signaling] signaling in Drosophila melanogaster, Xenopus tropicalis, and human cells," they report, noting that resulting hydrogen peroxide level dips "are linked to disturbed neuronal activity and lead to impaired locomotion."

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.