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2012 Grants - Lee
Impact of Arginase-1 Deficiency on Tau and Amyloid Pathogenesis
Daniel C. Lee, Ph.D.
University of South Florida
2012 Mentored New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity
Two characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease in the brain are amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which consist of abnormal accumulations of beta-amyloid and the protein tau, respectively. There is evidence that certain types of non-nerve cells in the brain, known as glial cells, may contribute to the formation of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. This effect of glial cells may be controlled, in part, by the enzyme arginase-1, which promotes the aggregation of certain proteins.
Daniel C. Lee, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed to study the role of glial cell arginase-1 in the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Using mice that have been genetically engineered to express Alzheimer's-like characteristics, the researchers will use molecular techniques to reduce or eliminate arginase-1 from glial cells. They will then test if this change reduces the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. These studies will help to determine if the arginase-1 pathway could be a target for drugs to reduce or prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease in the brain.
Dr. Lee is mentored by Dr. David Morgan from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.