Newly discovered leukodystrophy in children: Potential cure

Date: Source: IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute Summary: Medical researchers have uncovered a novel disease of children affecting the brain white matter -- the myelin sheath --, leading to severe incapacity and death in some cases. These defects were corrected by a treatment with fingolimod, a drug in use for Multiple Sclerosis which interferes with this pathway.

FULL STORY

The Neurometabolic diseases research team at IDIBELL and CIBER of Rare diseases (CIBERER), led by ICREA Professor Aurora Pujol, has uncovered a novel disease of children affecting the brain white matter -the myelin sheath-, leading to severe incapacity and death in some cases.

The gene causing the disorder is called DEGS1 and was identified using whole exome sequencing (WES) of 19 patients from around the globe (China, Iran, Morocco, USA, and France). "Sample collection for such a rare disease was extremely fast thanks to our collaboration with reference centers for leukodystrophies in France (Dr Odile Boespflug-Tanguy) and in Baltimore (Dr Ali Fatemi), and to the freely accessible genomic information exchange platform GeneMatcher," Dr Pujol explains.

DEGS1 is an enzyme of lipid metabolism that converts dihydroceramides to ceramides, at a hub essential for brain function. Indeed, defects in other enzymes along this pathway cause similar rare diseases like Krabbe disease or Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, also affecting the myelin..

A zebrafish model with deficient DEGS1 function was generated in the laboratory of Dr Cristina Pujades, UPF Barcelona, and exhibited swimming difficulties, loss of myelin forming cells (oligodendrocytes) and ceramide imbalances. These defects were corrected by a treatment with fingolimod, a drug in use for Multiple Sclerosis which interferes with this pathway. "These results pave the way to clinical trials, illustrating the transformative impact of clinical and functional genomics in the continuum from diagnostics to treatment," adds Dr Pujol.

Story Source:

Materials provided by IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Devesh C. Pant, Imen Dorboz, Agatha Schlüter, Stéphane Fourcade, Nathalie Launay, Javier Joya, Sergio Aguilera-Albesa, Maria Eugenia Yoldi, Carlos Casasnovas, Mary J. Willis, Montserrat Ruiz, Dorothée Ville, Gaetan Lesca, Karine Siquier-Pernet, Isabelle Desguerre, Huifang Yan, Jinming Wang, Margit Burmeister, Lauren Brady, Mark Tarnopolsky, Carles Cornet, Davide Rubbini, Javier Terriente, Kiely N. James, Damir Musaev, Maha S. Zaki, Marc C. Patterson, Brendan C. Lanpher, Eric W. Klee, Filippo Pinto e Vairo, Elizabeth Wohler, Nara Lygia de M. Sobreira, Julie S. Cohen, Reza Maroofian, Hamid Galehdari, Neda Mazaheri, Gholamreza Shariati, Laurence Colleaux, Diana Rodriguez, Joseph G. Gleeson, Cristina Pujades, Ali Fatemi, Odile Boespflug-Tanguy, Aurora Pujol. Loss of the sphingolipid desaturase DEGS1 causes hypomyelinating leukodystrophy. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2019; DOI: 10.1172/JCI123959

Cite This Page:

IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. "Newly discovered leukodystrophy in children: Potential cure: The gene that causes the disease is called DEGS1 and its defect may be counteracted with fingolimod." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190110082651.htm>.

IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. (2019, January 10). Newly discovered leukodystrophy in children: Potential cure: The gene that causes the disease is called DEGS1 and its defect may be counteracted with fingolimod. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190110082651.htm

IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. "Newly discovered leukodystrophy in children: Potential cure: The gene that causes the disease is called DEGS1 and its defect may be counteracted with fingolimod." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190110082651.htm (accessed September 17, 2019).


RELATED STORIES

Jan. 22, 2019 — diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis are characterized by damage to the 'myelin sheath', a protective covering wrapped around nerve cells akin to insulation around an electrical wire. ... read more

Nov. 30, 2018 — An international research team has discovered a mechanism that regulates the regeneration of the insulating layer of neurites. This insulation coating, also referred to as myelin sheath, is crucial ... read more

May 5, 2016 — A recent study combined two related but different imaging techniques to non-invasively track the rate at which nerve fibers in children's brains become wrapped in myelin. The work could lead to ... read more

Apr. 22, 2015 — Several drugs could lead to new treatment options for Multiple Sclerosis, including two drugs that effectively treat MS at the source, in vivo, researchers report. At the pathological level, MS is a ... read more

Stroke drug may also prevent Alzheimer's disease
Food allergies linked to increased disease activit...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 13 December 2019

 
 

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us On Twitter - Image