Navigation Links
NIH funds UT Dallas study on cause of Huntington's disease
Date:3/26/2013

Dr. Santosh D'Mello, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of Texas at Dallas, has received a federal grant for research that may shed light on why and how specific brain cells are affected by Huntington's disease, a devastating, degenerative brain disorder.

The grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, provides $1.67 million over 5 years.

"Results from our studies could provide valuable insight into why specific brain cells degenerate in Huntington's disease," said D'Mello, who holds appointments in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. "I'm pleased with this new grant, particularly given the current funding environment. We're eager to get started on this research."

Huntington's disease is caused by a genetic mutation that is passed down through families. According to the Huntington's Disease Society of America, more than 250,000 Americans have the disease or are at risk of inheriting the disease from an affected parent. The disorder causes parts of the brain to waste away, leading to progressively worsening symptoms ranging from behavioral changes to motor skill impairment to dementia. There is no cure or treatment that can alter the course of the disease.

D'Mello's research, which the NIH has supported for several years, is focused in general on investigating the biological mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His recent research results suggest that a key player in promoting neurodegeneration is a protein called histone deacetylase-3 (HDAC3). In preclinical studies, D'Mello's laboratory and other researchers have found that high levels of this protein are toxic to brain cells.

The new grant will allow D'Mello and his research team to investigate possible connections between HDAC3 and Huntington's disease. The genetic mutation responsible for the disorder affects a protein called huntingtin, resulting in a form of the protein that does not function properly. D'Mello will test the hypothesis that the mutant form of huntingtin inherited by patients with Huntington's disease activates the neurotoxic effects of HDAC3 that lead to brain-cell loss.

"Understanding these underlying mechanisms is an important step toward developing new strategies to treat neurodegenerative disorders," D'Mello said.

This is the third NIH grant D'Mello has received in the past year. Those grants have allowed his research group to pursue studies of proteins and genes that are linked to brain development, as well as the consequences of genetic mutations that result in neurodevelopmental disorders.

For example, the grants support D'Mello's work on the biological mechanisms of the proteins MeCP2 and FoxG1, mutations in which have been linked to a neurodevelopmental disorder called Rett syndrome that primarily affects girls.

In recently published research, D'Mello's laboratory found that elevated levels of the FoxG1 protein have a highly protective effect on cultured brain cells. Those findings are now being extended to mice, D'Mello said. He is developing mice that are genetically engineered to overproduce FoxG1 in the brain and will examine whether high levels of the protein can protect against brain degeneration. If that theory is borne out, he said, it could have implications for drug development and treatment strategies for neurodegenerative disorders.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
amanda.siegfried@utdallas.edu
972-883-4335
University of Texas at Dallas
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. EU funds research project on obesity and metabolic complications
2. Local Chiropractor Hosting Free Community Event and Giving an iPad Mini Away to Raise Funds for Nonprofit Children's Center at her Grand Opening
3. Healthentic Raises Funds to Support Seattle’s Homeless Population This Holiday Season
4. AdvisorsMD Donates Funds to Mision Vida Nueva
5. St. Michaels Dr. Sean B. Rourke receives federal funds for iHIV/AIDS research
6. DFG funds new Collaborative Research Center at the Mainz University Medical Center
7. CDC funds Wayne State University research to understand, prevent teen dating violence
8. Grant funds West Coast Metabolomics Center
9. ASHA grant funds cutting-edge AIDS research at Tel Aviv University
10. MTSS-mba Membership Benefits Administration Software for Private and Taft-Hartley Employee Benefit Funds Releases New Pension Modules
11. Dallas Dermatologist Christine Brown, M.D. Now Offers Breakthrough Technology to Freeze Away Fat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... The University of Western States (UWS) ... 2016 National SACA Leadership Conference on the Portland campus September 23-25. The conference ... come together and develop skills to be future leaders in the profession. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... has found that more than 40 percent of participating fifth-grade students already have ... of Allergy and Asthma Clinical Research in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... In order to increase comfort, convenience and ... Seattle-based steam bath and sauna manufacturer recently launched amerecConnect™ , a new ... app, developed for both smartphones and personal computers perfectly emulates that of the ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... United Collection Bureau, Inc. (UCB) announces Sarah Clark as its ... of experience within the healthcare revenue cycle industry. With a primary focus of end-to-end ... Financial Services at Spectrum Health. While at Spectrum Health, Clark helped Spectrum achieve the ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group ... today announced a new collaboration with Imerman Angels to expand outreach and ... the world. , “Imerman Angels provides an emotional lifeline to patients and families facing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... Conn., May 4, 2016  Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: ... "Company"), an owner of leading middle market businesses, announced ... ended March 31, 2016. First Quarter 2016 ... and Reinvestment ("CAD" or "Cash Flow") of $13.6 million ... net loss of $15.0 million for the first quarter ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 Yissum ... announced today that it had signed an exclusive ... , developer of novel protein degradation and immunomodulatory drugs ... commercialization of drug candidates representing first-in-class therapy for hematologic ... not disclosed. The novel technology was developed ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Research ... "Global Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive ... offering.       (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides ... products, Acute Myeloid Leukemia epidemiology, Acute Myeloid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: