Nav: Home

Researchers find new genetic information behind urogenital track anomalies

April 04, 2019

About one in every 100 babies is born with some kind of developmental anomaly in the urogenital tract. In most cases abnormalities are mild, but sometimes life-long and even life-threatening disease develops.

Infertility is another important aspect that associates with urogenital anomalies. Therefore understanding how those features occur is instrumental in developing future treatments.

To date, diseases which scientist understand the best are those caused by mutations in the proteins involved. However, in many diseases such mutations are not found, and the disease is "idiopathic" or referred as without a known cause, and maybe triggered by e.g. environmental factors.

Classically scientists have studied such cases by injecting many copies of the gene of interest into fertilized egg of an experimental animal. However, the major problem with this technique is that scientist have almost no control over where in the genome the gene lands, and what cell types start to produce the encoded protein.

By employing an unconventional genome engineering trick that increased GDNF production 3-6 times, scientists revealed that ureter, which allows urine produced by kidneys to enter bladder, length is regulated by GDNF levels, and that tubes connecting testicles to reproductive organs are misplaced when there is too much GDNF, resulting in infertility in males.

GDNF is a secreted protein which signals growth and survival for many types of cells. In females, too much GDNF resulted in imperforated vagina or lack of vaginal opening, resulting in infertility.

The researchers were able to trace some of those defects back to altered stem cell behavior in the developing urogenital block and identified some signaling pathways involved. Collectively these findings provide new information on altered stem cell behavior in the developing kidney.

The research was started at the Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, and performed in collaboration with the group of Dr Satu Kuure and Professor Hannu Sariola.

Dr Jaan-Olle Andressoo is currently an Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki

Dr Satu Kuure is director of GM-unit core facility at HiLIFE and principal investigator of STEMM research program at Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. The results of this study were published in Scientific Reports.
-end-


University of Helsinki

Related Biotechnology Articles:

Biotechnology to the rescue of Brussels sprouts
An international team has identified the genes that make these plants resistant to the pathogen that attacks crops belonging to the cabbage family all over the world.
UM professor co-authors report on the use of biotechnology in forests
University of Montana Professor Diana Six is one of 12 authors of a new report that addresses the potential for biotechnology to provide solutions for protecting forest trees from insect and pathogen outbreaks, which are increasing because of climate change and expanded global trade.
Faster genome evolution methods to transform yeast for industrial biotechnology
A research team led by Prof. DAI Junbiao at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Prof.
New innovations in cell-free biotechnology
Professor Michael Jewett's new platform to conduct cell-free protein synthesis could lead to improved quality of manufactured protein therapeutics and biomaterials.
Silk 'micrococoons' could be used in biotechnology and medicine
Microscopic versions of the cocoons spun by silkworms have been manufactured by a team of researchers.
The end of biotechnology as we know it
More than 400 attendees from five continents discussed trends and improvements in biotechnology at the European Summit of Industrial Biotechnology (ESIB) in Graz/Austria and talked many topics like a dehumanized research process.
Biotechnology: A growing field in the developing world
A detailed new report surveys a broad cross-section of biotechnology work across developing countries, revealing steady growth in fields tied to human well-being worldwide.
China releases first report on biotechnology in developing countries
The first report on biotechnology in developing countries revealing an overall picture of their biotechnology growth and competitiveness was released on Nov.
Exclusive: Biotechnology leaders surveyed about impact of Trump presidency
The day following the election of Donald J. Trump as President, a survey of leaders in biotechnology in the United States, conducted by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News showed that Trump's presidency will negatively impact NIH research funding as well as STEM education; a plurality said it will also spark a 'brain drain' as foreign-born researchers educated in American universities will be more likely to leave.
Novel 'repair system' discovered in algae may yield new tools for biotechnology
The algae C. reinhardtii uses a novel system for releasing an interrupting sequence from a protein -- a technique that may be useful for protein purification.
More Biotechnology News and Biotechnology Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.