The ‘Villain’ causing heart failure nabbed

An enzyme found in a study dents the heart’s protective mechanism

The ‘Villain’ causing heart failure nabbed

New Delhi, March 20: Finally, researchers have ‘nabbed the villain’ that causes heart failure. Their efforts have been a long haul.

The research, published in reputed journal Nature, has indentified an enzyme that dents the system that keeps stress at bay from heart.

The enzyme called PDE-9 subverts the ‘braking’ system that protects heart from stress. This enzyme is already linked to contributing to Alzheimer’s. The new study only extends its foot prints to heart cells and muscles. The enzyme has been found in excess in patients with heart failure. The rogue enzyme PDE-9 gobbles up a signaling molecule named cGMP, which in normal condition, triggers the production of PKG, a protein that protects heart.

It turns out that the protein PKG protects heart muscles from prolonged high blood pressure and other disease causing stress.

The enzyme seems to be a multitasking villain of sorts. In further studies, the link of its tentacles may be found far and wide.

The lead researcher from US’s John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dong Lee says, ‘Heart muscle function is the result of a complex but perfectly synchronized interaction of several proteins, enzymes and hormones. Naturally found in the gut, kidneys and brain, PDE-9 is already a prime suspect in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.’

Researchers were after this ‘factor’ for a  pretty long time. The discovery is being looked at as a great breakthrough for cardiology.

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