Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a rare multisystem disorder characterized by cachectic dwarfism, nervous system abnormalities and features of premature aging. CS symptoms are associated with mutations in 5 genes, CSA, CSB, XPB, XPD and XPG encoding for proteins involved in the transcription-coupled subpathway of nucleotide excision DNA repair (NER). Mutant mice have been generated for all CS-associated genes and provide tools to examine how the cellular defects translate into CS symptoms.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive paralysis due to motor neuron death. Several lines of published evidence suggested that inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling might protect neurons from degeneration. To test this hypothesis in vivo, we treated the SOD1 transgenic mouse model of ALS with erlotinib, an EGFR inhibitor clinically approved for oncology indications.
The translation of genes encoded in the mitochondrial genome requires specific machinery that functions in the organelle. Among the many mutations linked to human disease that affect mitochondrial translation, several are localized to nuclear genes coding for mitochondrial aminoacyl-transfer RNA synthetases. The molecular significance of these mutations is poorly understood, but it is expected to be similar to that of the mutations affecting mitochondrial transfer RNAs.
A de novo G608G mutation in LMNA gene leads to Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Mice lacking the prelamin A-processing metalloprotease, Zmpste24, recapitulate many of the progeroid features of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Here we show that A-type lamins interact with SUV39H1, and prelamin A/progerin exhibits enhanced binding capacity to SUV39H1, protecting it from proteasomal degradation and, consequently, increasing H3K9me3 levels. Depletion of Suv39h1 reduces H3K9me3 levels, restores DNA repair capacity and delays senescence in progeroid cells.
The free radical, or oxidative stress, theory of aging proposes that the accumulation of oxidative cellular damage is a major contributor to the aging process and a key determinant of species longevity. This study investigates the oxidative stress theory in a novel model for aging research, the sea urchin. Sea urchins present a unique model for the study of aging because of the existence of species with tremendously different natural life spans, including some species with extraordinary longevity and negligible senescence.
Molecular Therapy: The Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. We have recently shown that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) modified to release glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) decrease disease progression in a rat model of ALS when delivered to skeletal muscle. In the current study, we determined whether or not this effect could be enhanced by delivering GDNF in concert with other trophic factors.
Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology
The protective effect of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in cardiovascular disease has been previously demonstrated using transgenic animal models in which HO-1 is constitutively overexpressed in the heart. However, the temporal requirements for protection by HO-1 induction relative to injury have not been investigated, but are essential to employ HO-1 as a therapeutic strategy in human cardiovascular disease states.
Wilson disease is a hereditary disorder caused by mutations of the ATP7B gene, which leads to intoxication with copper as a result of an unbalance of copper homeostasis. The clinical manifestations resulting from this intoxication are related to the affectation of liver and the encephalon in most cases. Several animal models are currently available for the study of the malady. However, in such models no neurological symptoms are observed, which limits their use for the study of pathogenic effects of this disease on the central nervous system.
Immunodeficient mice bearing targeted mutations in the IL2rg gene and engrafted with human immune systems are effective tools for the study of human haematopoiesis, immunity, infectious disease and transplantation biology. The most robust human immune model is generated by implantation of human fetal thymic and liver tissues in irradiated recipients followed by intravenous injection of autologous fetal liver haematopoietic stem cells [often referred to as the BLT (bone marrow, liver, thymus) model].
Accumulation of the transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a major hallmark of several neurodegenerative disorders, collectively known as TDP-43 proteinopathies. The most common TDP-43 proteinopathies, frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43-positive inclusions, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, share overlapping neuropathological and clinical phenotypes. The development and detailed analysis of animal models of TDP-43 proteinopathies are critical for understanding the pathogenesis of these disorders.