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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.


Role of transcript and interplay between transcription and replication in triplet-repeat instability in mammalian cells

Triplet-repeat expansions cause several inherited human diseases. Expanded triplet-repeats are unstable in somatic cells, and tissue-specific somatic instability contributes to disease pathogenesis. In mammalian cells instability of triplet-repeats is dependent on the location of the origin of replication relative to the repeat tract, supporting the ‘fork-shift’ model of repeat instability.

Role of transcript and interplay between transcription and replication in triplet-repeat instability in mammalian cells

Current and emerging treatment options in the management of Friedreich ataxia

Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the most common autosomal recessive ataxia. Oxidative damage within the mitochondria seems to have a key role in the disease phenotype. Therefore, FRDA treatment options have been mostly directed at antioxidant protection against mitochondrial damage. Available evidence seems to suggest that patients with FRDA should be treated with idebenone, because it is well tolerated and may reduce cardiac hypertrophy and, at higher doses, also improve neurological function, but large controlled clinical trials are still needed.

Current and emerging treatment options in the management of Friedreich ataxia

The Friedreich's Ataxia protein frataxin modulates DNA base excision repair in prokaryotes and mammals

DNA-repair mechanisms enable cells to maintain their genetic information by protecting it from mutations that may cause malignant growth. Recent evidence suggests that specific DNA-repair enzymes contain ISCs (iron-sulfur clusters). The nuclearencoded protein frataxin is essential for the mitochondrial biosynthesis of ISCs. Frataxin deficiency causes a neurodegenerative disorder named Friedreich's ataxia in humans.

The Friedreich's Ataxia protein frataxin modulates DNA base excision repair in prokaryotes and mammals

Molecular Details of the Yeast Frataxin-Isu1 Interaction during Mitochondrial Fe-S Cluster Assembly

Frataxin, a conserved nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein, plays a direct role in iron−sulfur cluster biosynthesis within the ISC assembly pathway. Humans with frataxin deficiency have Friedreich’s ataxia, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by mitochondrial iron overload and disruption in Fe−S cluster synthesis. Biochemical and genetic studies have shown frataxin interacts with the iron−sulfur cluster assembly scaffold protein (in yeast, there are two, Isu1 and Isu2), indicating frataxin plays a direct role in cluster assembly, possibly by serving as an iron chaperone in the assembly pathway.

Molecular Details of the Yeast Frataxin-Isu1 Interaction during Mitochondrial Fe-S Cluster Assembly

Protective effects of transduced PEP-1-Frataxin protein on oxidative stress-induced neuronal cell death

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) actively contribute to the development of a number of human diseases including ischemia. In response to oxidative stress, frataxin has a significant ability to improve cell survival though its biological function is unclear in relation to ischemia. To explore frataxin's role in protecting against ischemic cell death, we constructed PEP-1-Frataxin cell-permeable fusion protein.

Protective effects of transduced PEP-1-Frataxin protein on oxidative stress-induced neuronal cell death

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