Molecular Neuroscience; Heat-shock Proteins; Stress Biology
The frequency of neurodegenerative diseases in the human population is increasing as average life span lengthens, hence the search for effective therapies is a pressing challenge. Neurodegenerative diseases have been termed ‘protein misfolding disorders’ as aggregation-prone, misfolded proteins accumulated in neural cells triggering pathogenic cascades that result in cell death of specific population of neurons in the brain. Heat shock proteins are ‘protein repair agents’ that can detect misfolded proteins and facilitated their correct refolding.
Upregulation of heat shock proteins in the nervous system is being explored in my laboratory as a potential strategy to combat neurodegenerative diseases that have been classified as protein misfolding disorders.