To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.
2009 Grants - Krichevsky
MicroRNA Regulation of Early Events in Alzheimer's Disease
Anna Krichevsky, Ph.D.
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc.
2009 New Investigator Research Grant
Ribonucleic acids (RNAs) known as messenger RNA (mRNA) are important molecules that carry the genetic code from the genetic material (DNA) to the cellular machinery that makes proteins. Recently, however, a new kind of RNA has been described that performs a different function. These new molecules, microRNA, regulate which mRNA molecules are used to make proteins.
Several lines of evidence suggest that microRNAs may play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Anna Krichevsky, Ph.D. and colleagues have identified specific microRNAs that are expressed at abnormally high levels in the brain during the early stages of the disease. The researchers have proposed to study these microRNAs in detail in order to understand their normal function, and their contribution to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Krichevsky and colleagues have found preliminary evidence that the microRNAs they have identified might alter the normally stable biochemical state of nerve cells. Evidence also suggests that microRNAs may increase the expression of amyloid precursor protein and tau, two proteins that form the characteristic pathologic features of Alzheimer's disease. These studies may reveal previously unknown biochemical pathways leading to the development of Alzheimer pathology, and possibly suggest new therapeutic targets.