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!
Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences