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Prof. Tariq Mansoor is presently serving as the Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Previously he has also served as Principal, J.N. Medical College, Chief Medical Superintendent, J.N. Medical College Hospital and Chairman, Department of Surgery. He is also the member of Medical Council of India since March 2015 for a period of four years. He is product of the first batch of prestigious Our Lady of Fatima Higher Secondary School, Aligarh. During his school days he has served as House Captain as well as School Captain. He did his MBBS and MS in General Surgery from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, AMU, Aligarh. A surgeon by profession with special interest in Breast and Thyroid Diseases, Prof. Tariq Mansoor has 33 years of Teaching and 35 years of Clinical experience. He has 90 publications to his credit and has guided 49 Postgraduate Medical Students for their Thesis as Supervisor / Co-Supervisor

Researchers edit gene to reduce blood cholesterol levels

Researchers edit gene to reduce blood cholesterol levels

New York: Using the cutting-edge CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering technique, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have successfully turned off a gene that regulates cholesterol levels in adult mice.

The silencing of the gene led to reduced blood cholesterol levels and gene repression lasting for six months after a single treatment, said the study published online in the journal Nature Communications.

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is based on an antiviral defence mechanism in bacteria in which the Cas9 enzyme recognises the viral DNA sequences of previous infections and cuts up invading DNA during re-infection.

Researchers have engineered the CRISPR/Cas9 system to not only locate and cut specific sequences of DNA, but to also turn on or off the expression of targeted genes without making permanent changes to the DNA coding sequence.

In the current study, the researchers tested their delivery system by silencing Pcsk9, a gene that regulates cholesterol levels.

While several drugs have been developed to treat high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease by blocking the activity of Pcsk9, this new approach could prevent Pcsk9 from being made.

“We previously used these same types of tools to turn genes on and off in cultured cells, and we wanted to see if we could also deliver them to animal models with an approach that is relevant for gene therapy,” said Charles Gersbach, Associate professor at Duke University in North Carolina.

While the experiment was successful, the researchers also observed release of liver enzymes into the blood.

“Following injection, we saw that levels of our target gene, Pcsk9, were reduced, but we also observed increases in expression of many immune cell genes, which indicates that immune cells were infiltrating the liver after we delivered Cas9 to the mice,” said Pratiksha Thakore, the PhD student who led the work in Gersbach’s lab.

“Gaining a better understanding of this immune response and how to modulate it will be important for using Cas9 technologies for therapies,” Thakore said.

IANS

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from The Siasat Daily

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