Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
La biologie moléculaire est-elle utile au praticien [Is molecular biology useful to the practitioner?]
Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift
Publication types: English Abstract ; Journal Article ; Review - Publication Status: ppublish
The relative importance of molecular biology in clinical practice is often underestimated. However, numerous procedures in clinical diagnosis and new therapeutic drugs have resulted from basic molecular research. Furthermore, understanding of the physiological and physiopathological mechanisms underlying several human diseases has been improved by the results of basic molecular research. For example, cloning of the gene encoding leptin has provided spectacular insights into the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the control of food intake and body weight maintenance in man. In cystic fibrosis, the cloning and identification of several mutations in the gene encoding the chloride channel transmembrane regulator (CFTR) have resolved several important issues in clinical practice: cystic fibrosis constitutes a molecular defect of a single gene. There is a strong correlation between the clinical manifestations or the severity of the disease (phenotype) with the type of mutations present in the CFTR gene (genotype). More recently, identification of mutations in the gene encoding a subunit of the renal sodium channel in the Liddle syndrome has provided important insight into the physiopathological understanding of mechanisms involved in this form of hereditary hypertension. Salt retention and secondary high blood pressure are the result of constitutive activation of the renal sodium channel by mutations in the gene encoding the renal sodium channel. It is speculated that less severe mutations in this channel could result in a less severe form of hypertension which may correspond to patients suffering from high blood pressure with low plasma renin activity. Several tools, most notably PCR, are derived from molecular research and are used in everyday practice, i.e. in prenatal diagnosis and in the diagnosis of several infectious diseases including tuberculosis and hepatitis. Finally, the production of recombinant proteins at lower cost and with fewer side effects is used in everyday clinical practice. Gene therapy remains an extraordinary challenge in correcting severe hereditary or acquired diseases. The use of genetically modified animal cell lines producing growth factors, insulin or erythropoetin, which are subsequently encapsulated and transferred to man, represents an attractive approach for gene therapy.
Cystic Fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator, Gene Therapy, Genetic Engineering, Genetics, Medical, Humans, Hyperaldosteronism, Leptin, Molecular Biology, Obesity, Prenatal Diagnosis, Proteins, Sodium Channels
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