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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Butyrate infusions in the ovine fetus delay the biologic clock for globin gene switching.

The switch from fetal to adult hemoglobin expression is regulated in many mammalian species by a developmental clock-like mechanism and determined by the gestational age of the fetus. Prolonging fetal globin gene expression is of considerable interest for therapeutic potential in diseases caused by abnormal beta-globin genes. Butyric acid, which is found in increased plasma concentrations in infants of diabetic mothers who have delayed globin gene switching, was infused into catheterized fetal lambs in utero during the time of the normal globin gene switch period. The globin gene switch was significantly delayed in three of four butyrate-treated fetuses compared with controls and was entirely prevented in one fetus in whom the infusion was begun before the globin switch was under way. These data provide a model for investigating and arresting the biologic clock of hemoglobin switching.[1]


  1. Butyrate infusions in the ovine fetus delay the biologic clock for globin gene switching. Perrine, S.P., Rudolph, A., Faller, D.V., Roman, C., Cohen, R.A., Chen, S.J., Kan, Y.W. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1988) [Pubmed]
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