A gene that allows cancers to spread has now found itself to trigger heart cell regeneration, which is not possible in adults. The researchers believe that harnessing these genes will help in the efficient treatment of heart diseases.
The researchers find this a great achievement as it could help reversing heart ailments. The present treatments in heart diseases do not regenerate the tissues but only slow the progress of the disease. But now regeneration has been found, said Dr Catherine Wilson who led the study. He is from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Pharmacology,
Cancer is caused when cells start to replicate themselves uncontrollably. In this, Myc plays a key role. Myc is overactive and this gene is targeted in the treatment of cancer. The researchers tested this Myc gene in Mice and found that cells started replicating. But the hear cells did not show any regeneration. The researchers found that Myc-driven activity in the heart cells dependent on the level of another protein called Cyclin T1, which comes from Ccnt1 gene.
They found that once Ccnt1 and Myc genes are expressed together, the cells in the heart starts to replicate. Wilson said that muscle cells in the heart of adult mice started to regenerate when Ccnt1 and Myc genes were overexpressed.
Heart failure is a common diseases the world over. An adult human heart loses up to one billion heart muscle cells after an attack. However, these heart cells do not regenerate like cells in other parts of the body.
The results are published ‘Nature Communications’.