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2014 Grants - Lambert
Involvement of BIN1 in the Alzheimer’s Pathophysiological Process
Jean-Charles Lambert, Ph.D.
INSERM U744, Institut Pasteur de Lille
2014 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant: Biological Underpinnings of Genetic Risk Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease
In recent years, scientists have identified several genetic variations associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. One gene associated with such increased risk is known as BIN1 (bridging integrator 1). However, the role BIN1 plays in increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet well understood.
Recent studies by Jean-Charles Lambert, Ph.D., and colleagues suggest that genetic variations in the BIN1 gene affect levels of the BIN1 protein in the brain which then impacts the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In addition, their findings suggest that the BIN1 protein may interact with the protein tau. Tau is the main component of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the hallmark features of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Lambert and colleagues will advance their studies of BIN1 by exploring the molecular mechanisms of the BIN1-tau interaction, and how that interaction may affect the function of nerve cells. In addition, they will examine how other proteins and signaling molecules may modulate how BIN1 interacts with tau. The researchers will also perform studies in mice genetically altered to have differing levels of BIN1 protein in the brain and who develop an Alzheimer’s-like condition. These studies may help scientists identify potential new drug targets to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.