Medical Xpress highlights Talbot’s gene research

Medical Xpress shared a University of Maine media release about Jared Talbot helping identify a gene that, when altered, can cause bent fingers and toes, clubfoot, scoliosis, and short stature. A 32-member research team, which included the assistant professor in the School of Biology and Ecology, discovered that partial loss of the protein coding gene MYLPF (myosin light chain, phosphorylatable, fast skeletal muscle) results in a disorder called distal arthrogryposis (DA) that’s present at birth. The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG) published the team’s paper about the research titled “Mutations in MYLPF Cause a Novel Segmental Amyoplasia that Manifests as Distal Arthrogryposis” on July 23. “Before a disease can be effectively treated, its cause needs to be understood,” says Talbot. “Right now, DA is treated through surgery, which often has to be repeated several times over a lifetime. By understanding the disease better we may be able to discover longer-lasting and less-invasive ways to treat it.”