Dysfunction of mRNA translation and neurodegeneration



Time: 15:30-17:00  on Fri., Jun. 29, 2018

Venue: B416, Medical Science Building

SpeakerDr. Susan L. Ackerman, De Cellular and Molecular Biology and Neurobiology, University of California San Diego La Jolla, USA


Host:Yichang Jia,IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University

Title:Dysfunction of mRNA translation and neurodegeneration

Abstract:To identify the underlying molecular causes of neurodegeneration, our lab uses a forward genetic approach in mice. Importantly, this phenotype-driven approach allows the identification, without a priori assumptions, of molecules critical to these processes. However, the specific role of these molecules in neuronal homeostasis can be difficult to ascertain, particularly for molecules without defined function. To enable our definition of the biological pathways that when disrupted by mutations result in neurodegeneration, we have utilized forward genetics to identify modifier genes. In brief, we analyze the consequences of alleles of various inbred mouse strains to identify genes which alter neuron death mediated by chemically-induced or spontaneous mutations. These modifier genes and our accompanying biochemical and genomic studies have helped pinpoint novel pathways involved in neuronal homeostasis in the aging brain. In particular, we have identified modifier genes that alter phenotypes resulting from mutations that change the progression of ribosomes on mRNAs or change the fidelity of tRNA charging, and have shown that the expression pattern of these modifier genes are responsible for the neurospecificity of these mutations.


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