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Scientific News

FARA funds research progress

In this section, you will find the most recent FA research publications, many of which are funded by FARA, as well as information on upcoming conferences and symposiums. You can search for articles by date using the archive box in the right hand column. To locate FARA Funded or Supported Research, click the hyperlink in the right hand column. You may also search for specific content using key words or phrases in the search button at the top right of your screen. Please be sure to visit other key research sections of our website for information on FARA’s Grant Program and the Treatment Pipeline.


Effects of alkyl side chain modification of coenzyme Q10 on mitochondrial respiratory chain function and cytoprotection

The effect of the alkyl side chain length of coenzyme Q10 on mitochondrial respiratory chain function has been investigated by the use of synthetic ubiquinone derivatives. Three analogues (3, 4 and 6) were identified that exhibited significantly improved effects on mitochondrial oxygen consumption and mitochondrial membrane potential, and also conferred significant cytoprotection on cultured mammalian cells in which glutathione had been depleted by treatment with diethyl maleate.

Read More: Effects of alkyl side chain modification of coenzyme Q10 on mitochondrial respiratory chain function and cytoprotection

The Reciprocal Cerebellar Circuitry in Human Hereditary Ataxia

Clinicoanatomic correlation in the spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA) and Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is difficult as these diseases differentially affect multiple sites in the central and peripheral nervous systems. A new way to study cerebellar ataxia is the systematic analysis of the "reciprocal cerebellar circuitry" that consists of tightly organized reciprocal connections between Purkinje cells, dentate nuclei (DN), and inferior olivary nuclei (ION). This circuitry is similar to but not identical with the "cerebellar module" in experimental animals.

Read More: The Reciprocal Cerebellar Circuitry in Human Hereditary Ataxia

Complexes between two GAA Repeats within DNA introduced into Cos-1 cells

We have recently shown that GAA repeats severely impede replication elongation during the first replication cycle of transfected DNA wherein the chromatin is still at the formation stage.1 Here we extend this study by showing that two GAA repeats located within the same plasmid in the direct orientation can form complexes upon transient transfection of mammalian Cos-1 cells. However, these complexes do not form in DNA that went through several replication rounds in mammalian cells. We suggest that formation of such complexes in mammalian genomes can contribute to genomic instability.

Read More: Complexes between two GAA Repeats within DNA introduced into Cos-1 cells

Heterochromatinization induced by GAA-repeat hyperexpansion in Friedreich's ataxia can be reduced upon HDAC inhibition by Vitamin B3

Large intronic expansions of the triplet-repeat sequence (GAA.TTC) cause transcriptional repression of the Frataxin gene (FXN) leading to Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA). We previously found that GAA-triplet expansions stimulate heterochromatinization in vivo in transgenic mice. We report here using chromosome conformation capture (3C) coupled with high-throughput sequencing that the GAA-repeat expansion in FRDA cells stimulates a higher-order structure as a fragment containing the GAA-repeat expansion showed an increased interaction frequency with genomic regions along the FXN locus.

Read More: Heterochromatinization induced by GAA-repeat hyperexpansion in Friedreich's ataxia can be reduced upon HDAC inhibition by Vitamin B3

A Dynamic Model of the Proteins that Form the Initial Iron-Sulfur Cluster Biogenesis Machinery in Yeast Mitochondria

The assembly of iron-sulfur clusters (ISCs) in eukaryotes involves the protein Frataxin. Deficits in this protein have been associated with iron inside the mitochondria and impair ISC biogenesis as it is postulated to act as the iron donor for ISCs assembly in this organelle. A pronounced lack of Frataxin causes Friedreich's Ataxia, which is a human neurodegenerative and hereditary disease mainly affecting the equilibrium, coordination, muscles and heart.

Read More: A Dynamic Model of the Proteins that Form the Initial Iron-Sulfur Cluster Biogenesis Machinery in Yeast Mitochondria

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