News of the WeekHYPERTENSION

Mutation Points to Salt Recycling Pathway

Science  07 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5476, pp. 23-26
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5476.23b

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A team of researchers at Yale Medical School has uncovered a gene mutation that leads to early-onset hypertension that may point the way to causes for more common forms of high blood pressure. On page 119, the Yale group reports finding a new mutation in the so-called mineralocorticoid receptor, a protein in kidney cells that is involved in the body's handling of salt. This is the first work to demonstrate how alterations in the receptor could give rise to hypertension; in particular, the findings may explain why some women experience a sharp rise in blood pressure during pregnancy.