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Using your loaf to fight brain disease
Date:3/31/2014

ltimately provide new insight into the mechanisms that contribute to Parkinson's and cancer.

Leonor Miller-Fleming, of the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisbon and University of Leicester, said: "Our work is important because it suggests that human DJ-1 may function in a similar manner to the yeast version of this protein. We feel that similar studies should be performed with human DJ-1 in nerve cells, to clarify its function and to see if this contributes to the formation of Parkinson's disease. Ultimately, the detailed understanding of how these proteins function may enable us to come up with novel strategies to treat Parkinson's disease, cancer, and other related disorders."

The collaborators believe the next steps in the research are to better understand the details of how the DJ-1 family of proteins regulates autophagy, and if this applies in human neurons, particularly dopaminergic neurons, which are the nerve cells most sensitive to loss in the Parkinson's brain. Once the researchers build up on the findings they have now described, they will be in a better position to design novel strategies for therapeutic intervention.

Professor Outeiro explained: "This study highlights the importance of international collaborations and networks, in which different strengths are combined to yield novel insights into science. Importantly, this scientific collaboration is also based upon personal friendship between the two senior authors, which makes science ever more exciting and fun."

Dr Giorgini added: "In addition, this work was primarily spearheaded by a single PhD student Leonor Miller-Fleming who drove the project forward with passion and creativity, showing the importance of promoting, supporting and funding doctoral research."

Professor Outeiro said: "We were pioneers in the development of the first model of Parkinson's disease in yeast cells. With this work, we explored the powerful toolbox of yeast cells to lea
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Contact: Flaviano Giorgini
fg36@le.ac.uk
07-505-775-198
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

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