Project: Identification of genes that modulate the severity of all neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3 (SCA3) are all neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). We hypothesize that there exist genes that when altered in structure or expression increase the risk to develop any type of ND. Such genes may play a key role in the development of many of the idiopathic forms of these diseases and, thereby, be as relevant for ND as p53 is for cancer. We aim to identify generic modifiers of NDs by performing comprehensive bioinformatics analyses of modifiers identified previously in targeted human and rodent studies, as well as in genetic screens in lower organisms such as yeast or Drosophila. Integration of this data with proteomic and genomic information in disease-network models will be used to identify possible novel generic modifiers. Predicted generic modifiers will be validated first in vitro in mammalian cell models of AD, PD and SCA3 and then in transgene disease mouse models. Novel generic modifiers that are validated in more than one disease will be studied in further detail to identify their mechanisms of action. Finally, we will investigate whether the product of identified modifier genes display significant alterations in human brain tissue of AD, PD and SCA3 patients. As generic modifiers and the components of the pathways that they affect will point to potential therapeutic targets for a wide range of degenerative diseases, they will allow prioritisation of targets for future drug screens.

Acronym NeuroGeM (Reference Number: JPND_CD_FP-688-027)
Duration 01/01/2015 - 01/01/2018
Project Topic Neurodegenerative disease
Website visit project website
Network JPND
Call A call for European research projects for cross-disease analysis of pathways related to neurodegenerative diseases

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of British Columbia Coordinator Canada
2 University of British Columbia Partner Canada
3 University of Oslo Partner Norway
4 University of Tübingen Partner Germany
5 Academisch Medisch Centrum Partner Netherlands