[extropy-chat] [fwd] Werner's Syndrome Mice

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Thu Aug 26 19:06:18 UTC 2004

[our absent pal Robert Bradbury posted this to another list:]

It is being reported [1,2] that researchers seem to finally
have a workable model for Werner's Syndrome in mice.

Having to cross WRN and telomerase deficient mice and
then breed them to get short telomeres points out how
complex species differences may be in both (a) the
activity level of genes in specific tissues and (b)
physical attributes of specific genomes (such as telomere
length) in influencing disease development rates and
overall aspects of aging.

The fact that the mouse cancer profiles did not generally
match human cancer profiles may suggest that there are
still some things we are missing here, for example,
throwing out a couple of off the cuff examples, the human
immune system may be better at eliminating certain types of
cancer than the mouse immune system is or mice may have
diminished defenses against mutations in certain tissues.

While we *are* making progress the problems are complex.
A quick PubMed scan this morning suggested that the W.S.
gene may interact with up to 15 other proteins involved
in DNA replication & repair.  The answers are going to
come very slowly I fear.


1. "Mouse Model Of Rare Disease Offers Clues To Aging And
Cancer Development"

2. Chang S, Multani AS, Cabrera NG, Naylor ML, Laud P, Lombard D, Pathak S,
Guarente L, DePinho RA.
Essential role of limiting telomeres in the pathogenesis of Werner syndrome.
Nat Genet. 2004 Aug;36(8):877-82. Epub 2004 Jul 04.

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