Genetic markers that lead to 'sticky' blood cells discovered

Posted by pt91 at Nov 26, 2010 11:25 AM |
Scientists have made a breakthrough in identifying people at risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots that can lead to a heart attack.

Leicester researchers were part of a team investigating novel genes that regulate platelets, the tiny cells in the blood that stick together to form a blood clot. Identifying genes that make platelets more ‘sticky’ in this way can help identify people more at risk of coronary heart disease as well as providing potential targets for treatment.

The scientists have highlighted a particular protein that plays a key role in the regulation of platelets. Variations in the gene for this protein have affected the risk of developing a blood clot, a small clue that could hint at the genetic reasons behind blood clotting.

The research was jointly led by Professor Alison Goodall (pictured) from our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Professor Willem Ouwehand from the University of Cambridge and NHS Blood and Transplant and is published this week in the leading haematology journal Blood.

This research forms part of the European Union funded Bloodomics project.