Deconstructing the Dopamine/Abnormal Tau Relationship in Alzheimer’s Disease
Dopamine Signaling Controls Pathological Tau
A number of neurodegenerative disorders feature tau deposits, including Alzheimer’s disease. These abnormal aggregations of tau protein can cause age-dependent neurodegeneration. We have identified a class of drugs that prevent abnormal tau formation in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of this project is to understand how these experimental drugs prevent abnormal tau so that we can develop these drugs further, ultimately setting the stage for clinical trials in Alzheimer’s patients.
About the Researcher
The mission of my research program is to understand the molecular mechanisms at work in age- related cognitive decline caused by neurodegeneration. The relationship between neurodegenerative changes and protein aggregation are of particular interest. Investigations in my laboratory utilize both genetic and chemical biology approaches to explore the means by which abnormal tau protein contributes to neurotoxicity. Our general strategy is to use simple C. elegans models of tauopathy as the primary discovery platform and then validate findings using mammalian cell culture, transgenic mouse models, and study of postmortem human tissue exhibiting pathological tau. Our combined experience dealing with transgenic C. elegans models, human cultured cell models, and transgenic mouse models of tauopathy make us uniquely qualified to conduct these translational experiments.
First published on: July 9, 2014
Last modified on: July 1, 2018