A New Signaling Pathway Involving the Golgi Apparatus Identified in Cells With Huntington’s Disease
Working with cells grown in the lab, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a biochemical pathway that allows a structure within cells, called the Golgi apparatus, to combat stress caused by free radicals and oxidants. The research team showed that this pathway can be activated by a drug called monensin, which is commonly used as an antibiotic in animal feed.
The findings, they say, could help scientists develop new ways to protect cells against the type of oxidative stress linked to Huntington’s disease.
“Normally, elevated oxidative stress is not good for cells, as it can compromise their natural protective responses,” says Bindu Paul, M.S., Ph.D., instructor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience. “We showed that we can enhance a pathway that protects the cells with a method that resembles vaccination. By giving a lower, less potent, dose of the stressor, you can boost the cell’s response so that it has a robust reaction to the real threat later on,” says Juan Sbodio, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience.
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