CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Release: Immediate
Jan. 3, 2000
UI researchers receive $1.26 million NIH grant to study protein linked
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa researchers have received a five-year,
$1.26 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to learn more about
a protein that plays a role in hypertension.
Curt D. Sigmund, Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine, and his
UI colleagues will study angiotensinogen, a protein encoded in a gene that
has been found to be associated with hypertension in some patients. Researchers
believe an altered form of the protein or an inappropriate expression of the
gene may predispose some people to hypertension.
"Recent evidence suggests that some forms of hypertension may be inherited.
However, the genes responsible have yet to be identified," said Sigmund,
who also holds a faculty appointment in the UI department of physiology and
biophysics. "Our goal is to develop models in laboratory mice to directly
test the significance and consequences of alterations in angiotensinogen function."
The studies may help determine why patients carrying the altered form of
the angiotensinogen gene develop hypertension, while others carrying the normal
form of the gene have normal blood pressure. The research could eventually
lead to the screening of patients at risk for hypertension (individuals with
hypertension in their families), based on their angiotensinogen genotype.
The UI research also may provide a new model for testing variants in other
genes as well as other diseases involving multiple genes, Sigmund added.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.