Cardiac Protein to Fix a Damaged Heart Produced by Researchers from IIT Guwahati


eMediNexus    21 February 2023

According to a new study, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed a "recombinant protein toolbox," which consists of six special proteins that can be used to convert healthy skin cells or any somatic cells from an adult human body into heart cells, specifically cardiomyocytes.


The cardiac tissues that are injured can be rebuilt using the heart cells produced using this toolbox, which can perform the same function as the original heart cells. In some species, such as the zebrafish, the heart can regenerate, but in humans, it typically develops scar tissue rather than fresh heart cells. Researchers are looking into methods to change ordinary body cells into heart cells, which could aid in the regeneration of injured hearts.


Cellular reprogramming, which involves applying proteins made from a different source, can change cells from one kind to another. This procedure makes use of particular proteins called transcription factors, which can change how a cells genes are expressed and instruct it to adopt a new biological identity.


The IIT Guwahati team has created cell-permeant recombinant proteins that have the ability to change skin cells into heart cells. The IIT Guwahati researchers were able to "reprogram" skin cells to take on the traits of heart cells by exposing the cells to these proteins. This procedure can be thought of as "rewiring" the genetic code of skin cells to resemble heart cells.


According to Dr. Rajkumar P. Thummer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Guwahati, recombinant protein-based cellular reprogramming is a potential alternative and the safest way among other available non-integration approaches. He added that recombinant proteins can be administered to target areas without the need for any toxic chemicals.


Additionally, he stated that further studies are needed to evaluate their function as tumor suppressors or growth promoters in a variety of malignancies in addition to heart healing. 


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/diagnostics/iit-guwahati-researchers-produce-cardiac-proteins-to-fix-a-damaged-heart/98093815 )

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