Dr. Elena Posse de Chaves - October 17

A Scientific Journey from the Brain to the Retina led by Isoprenoids and Protein Prenylation

For the past 17 years my laboratory has studied the role of lipids in neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. In the past 5 yeas we have been focusing in a class of lipids which are the non sterol isoprenoids. Isoprenoids are crucial for prenylation, the post-translational modification of proteins by covalent attachment of the isoprenoids farnesyl-pyrophosphate (FPP) and/or geranylgeranyl-pyrophosphate (GGPP) by prenyl transferases. Prenylated proteins regulate important cellular functions, such as cytoskeletal organization, gene expression, vesicle trafficking and autophagy. Prenylated proteins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases and isoprenoids and prenyltransferases are recognized therapeutic targets. I am going to share with you the scientific journey that our work in isoprenoids have taken us from the brain in a model of Alzheimer’s disease to the retina in the inherited disease choroideremia.

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Biochemistry

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becomestudent@mun.ca