will Study the relationship of the neurodegenerative disorder with the immune system
Carlos Cruchaga, a graduate and doctor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Navarra, has been awarded, along with his team at the University of Washington in St. Louis (USA) 1.05 million dollars from the Foundation of the creator of Facebook, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), to investigate on the role of the immune system in Alzheimer's disease.
scientific Director of the McDonnell Genome Institute, the researcher navarro has been working for 11 years in the united States in the interaction of several genes related to the immune system and, at the same time, associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's.
"In a recent study, we identified the main regulator of extracellular levels of a gene, TREM2, whose genetic variants confer a high risk of developing the disease. This gene, in addition, is not related to the amyloid-beta protein (whose presence is studied for decades in relation to the development of the pathology), but with the response of our immune system, as it is expressed in microglia, which would be like the equivalent to the white blood cells of the brain", details the also a professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the american university.
"The identification of the gene opened up new pathways to knowledge about this disease, as it showed that there are processes involved in it beyond the beta-amyloid protein. And in our study, in addition, we identified another gene, called MS4A4A, which is part of the metabolic pathway of TREM2", add Cruchaga. This protein is abundant also in microglia and, therefore, brings to mind the experts who would be involved in the processes of inflammation, so that would be demonstrated the relationship between the immune system and the development of Alzheimer's disease.
The research group of Carlos Cruchaga is formed by researchers from different fields. "Our team, multidisciplinary and translational, now plans to use new high-throughput techniques of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, along with stem cells, inducible and clinical data, to elucidate the mechanism by which the two genes that we've discovered they interact and how this interaction modulates the immune system of the brain and modifies it creating a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease," says Cruchaga.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, established by the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscillia Chan, has devoted $ 9 million to fund research projects aimed at the identification of new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases through collaboration between clinicians, engineers, biologists, computational, geneticists, and molecular biologists.
Carlos Cruchaga, natural Barañain (Navarra), did his phd in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Navarra. He subsequently did a postdoctoral stay at the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at Cima University of Navarra, where he investigated the genetic causes of neurodegenerative diseases, under the direction of dr. Pau Pastor. Since 2007 he is researcher and professor at Washington University in St. Louis (USA).
According to the criteria ofLearn more Updated Date: 24 December 2018, 08:00