Proteins involved in cardiomyopathy to be studied in America

1st June 2017

Researchers in America have been given a $1.57 grant to study three important proteins involved in causing cardiomyopathy.

The grant, from the country’s National Institutes of Health, will help the team from Washington State University to understand the molecular causes of heart muscle disease.

The university hopes the four-year project will lead to improved diagnostics and new treatments for inherited heart conditions.

The researchers will be studying mutations in these proteins. “Our work is to prove that these mutations cause these problems and to propose strategies for treatment,” said researcher and assistant professor Alla Kostyukova. 

Heart muscle is made of tiny thick and thin filaments of proteins. With the help of electrical signals, the filaments bind and unbind allowing heart muscle to beat.

The researchers hope in the long term to identify the components and molecular mechanisms that regulate the thin filaments, whether diseased or healthy.

The team will use state-of-the-art  knowledge to make the key proteins and study them at the molecular and cellular level.  

 “Better understanding of the thin filament’s function and its regulation is critical to understanding muscle disease, to improving diagnostics, and to potentially identifying novel drug targets,” said Professor Kostyukova.

Cardiomyopathy support nurse Robert Hall, from Cardiomyopathy UK, said: “We will watch the progress of this research with interest.”