- Beichen Jiang - Graduate Student
Age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), are often associated with proteins functioning improperly. AD patients tend to accumulate β-amyloid plaques, while Lewy bodies containing the protein -synuclein are found in post-mortem PD patients.
Oxidative stress is a key component of many age-related diseases, and the oxidation of protein-bound methionine and cysteine is suggested to play a significant role in protein function and cell physiology. Methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) system (consists of MsrA and MsrB) is able to reduce cellular methionine sulfoxide to methionine. Compromised ability of reducing methionine oxidized proteins may lead to accumulation of faulty proteins and shorter life span of the organism.
The aim of our research is to better understand the role of oxidative damage/repair that occurs to proteins, in general, and to brain proteins, in particular (including β-amyloid and α-synuclein). To achieve this goal we utilize molecular biology techniques and proteomic approaches that use both ex-vivo and in vivo systems. Consequently, we hope to determine the possible role of the Msr system in development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases and oxidative-stress related neurological disorders.