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2012 Grants - McMurray
Mechanisms of Misfolding and Aggregation of Septin Proteins in Alzheimer's
Michael McMurray, Ph.D.
University of Colorado Denver
2012 New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity
Septins are proteins that normally function as part of a cell's structure, helping to maintain its shape and ability to transport nutrients. In several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia, septins are found to have formed abnormal aggregates that disrupt cell function and can lead to cell death. These aggregates are believed to result from misfolding of individual septin proteins.
Michael McMurray, Ph.D., and colleagues have been studying septins and their role in the cell. The researchers have identified a system that assists in the proper folding and deployment of septins, and that prevent aggregation. Dr. McMurray has proposed to use genetic and biochemical techniques to understand how proper folding of septins is maintained, as well as the mechanisms responsible for misfolding and aggregation. These studies may help researchers identify potential targets for drugs to prevent misfolding of septins, and potentially slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.