There is currently no way to stop or reverse the progression of Huntington’s Disease, which affects one in 10,000 Americans. It is a progressive, and eventually fatal, genetic neurological disease.
Associate professor Ray Truant’s lab has discovered molecular ‘zip codes’ or protein sequences in the huntingtin protein that dictate where it goes to within a brain cell.
"We have shown that the mutant huntingtin protein is mis-localized in brain cells in Huntington’s Disease, because it is being improperly signaled, or instructed where to go in the cell," said Truant, of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
"In particular, Huntingtin is accumulating at the heart of the cell, the nucleus, where it shouldn't be. This is causing the brain cells to not function properly, and eventually die."
Truant and his university colleagues have received a $260,000 research operating grant from the American-based High Q Foundation. The grant will fund research using the technology of McMaster’s new Biophotonics Facility and the use of laser microscopy in living brain cells.
It will also use the McMaster High Throughput Screening Facility to screen for new drugs that can affect how huntingtin is signalled.
"This class of small molecule drugs we are now working with has been proven recently to be a very successful class of drugs for different diseases, but not yet in HD," said Truant.
This new type of research is called Chemical Biology and is the focus of a new graduate degree program at McMaster University. The federal Canada Foundation for Innovation recently announced a $8 million grant towards a new Centre of Microbial Chemical Biology at McMaster.
Veronica McGuire | EurekAlert!
The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg
Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences