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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.


Altered Zinc Transport Disrupts Mitochondrial Protien Processing/Import In Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome

Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder that affects individuals who are carriers of small CGG premutation expansions in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Mitochondrial dysfunction was observed as an incipient pathological process occurring in individuals who do not display overt features of FXTAS (1). 

Altered Zinc Transport Disrupts Mitochondrial Protien Processing/Import In Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome

Idebenone Induces Apoptotic Cell Death in the Human Dopaminergic Neuroblastoma SHSY-5Y Cells

Idebenone is a coenzyme Q10 analog and an antioxidant that has been used clinically to treat Friedreich Ataxia. Being an antioxidant, idebenone could have potential therapeutic potential to treat other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease in which oxidative stress plays a role in their pathogenesis.

Idebenone Induces Apoptotic Cell Death in the Human Dopaminergic Neuroblastoma SHSY-5Y Cells

Silencing of frataxin gene expression triggers p53-dependent apoptosis in human neuron-like cells

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations that produce a deficiency in frataxin. Despite the importance of neurodegeneration in FRDA, little is known about the consequences of frataxin deficiency in neuronal cells. Here we describe a neuronal cell model for FRDA based on the use of lentiviral vectors that carry minigenes encoding frataxin-specific shRNAs that silence the expression of this gene. These lentivectors can knockdown frataxin expression in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, which results in large-scale cell death in differentiated neuron-like cells but not in undifferentiated neuroblastoma cells.

Silencing of frataxin gene expression triggers p53-dependent apoptosis in human neuron-like cells

Friedreich's ataxia: Past, present and future

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder characterized by progressive gait and limb ataxia, dysarthria, areflexia, loss of vibratory and position sense, and a progressive motor weakness of central origin. Additional features include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and diabetes. Large GAA repeat expansions in the first intron of the FXN gene are the most common mutation underlying FRDA. Patients show severely reduced levels of a FXN-encoded mitochondrial protein called frataxin.

Friedreich's ataxia: Past, present and future

Infectious delivery and long-term persistence of transgene expression in the brain by a 135-kb iBAC-FXN genomic DNA expression vector

Novel gene-based therapies for disease will depend in many cases on long-term persistent transgene expression. To develop gene therapy strategies for Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), we have examined the persistence of transgene expression in the brain in vivo provided by the entire 135 kb FXN genomic DNA locus delivered as an infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (iBAC) herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-based vector injected in the adult mouse cerebellum. 

Infectious delivery and long-term persistence of transgene expression in the brain by a 135-kb iBAC-FXN genomic DNA expression vector

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