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HK Researchers Find Cause for HGPS

The University of Hong Kong announced Tuesday a study which has made groundbreaking findings into the molecular mechanism responsible for Hutchison-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS).

HGPS is a disease that causes the onset of severe premature aging, which leads to elderly-like appearance and rapid deterioration of physiological functions necessary for survival and fertility. It is a rare severe form of earlyonset premature aging.

Common symptoms of HGPS include hair loss, delayed teeth formation, dwarfism and retarded growth and loss of body fat etc. However, affected children have the same mental age as normal children of similar ages.

A research team led by Dr. Zhong-jun Zhou from the Department of Biochemistry of the university has created a mouse model closely resembling human disorder of HGPS.

Researchers found that in cells from HGPS patients and in the mouse model that made abnormal Lamin A, which is found responsiblefor HGPS, the DNA could not be repaired properly and as a result the genome became unstable.

The ground-breaking results have recently been published in theleading international scientific journal Nature Medicine on June 27.

Researchers said these findings are particularly important given the significant economic and human impact of a worldwide increase of the aging population.


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