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Protein regulates movement of mitochondria in brain cells
Date:6/15/2009

UMMR has been the appreciation in that the body operates at a relatively low oxygen level. While the air we breath consists of approximately 20% oxygen, the cells in the brain sit at somewhere between 2-5% oxygen. This creates a "normal" state of hypoxia in the brain.

However, the concentration of oxygen in the brain can drop even further in instances such as a stroke, when blood flow to a portion of the brain is cut off. This decrease in oxygen promotes the expression of HUMMR which, in turn, mobilizes mitochondria. More mitochondria in the correct position may mean the cell has a greater capacity to filter out toxic levels of calcium. Rempe and his colleagues are now investigating the role that HUMMR may play in stroke models, particularly whether or not this activity helps protect vulnerable cells that lie just outside the core areas of the brain that are damaged by stroke.

"Ultimately, these advances in our understanding of the molecular and cell biology of mitochondria have the potential to lead to novel approaches for the prevention and treatment of neurological disorders," said Rempe.


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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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