WashU researcher receives NIH grant to study a poorly understood protein linked to ALS

The relentless neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) eventually shuts down the entire body, but the devastation starts at a molecular level. Over the years, researchers have linked ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, to a handful of proteins that don't function properly because of genetic mutations. Over time, these distorted or "misfolded" proteins can clump together in the brain and nervous system, potentially gumming up normal nerve function and starting the slow march to total paralysis.

In theory, it might be possible to stop the disease by repairing and preserving these proteins -; a possibility that has inspired ongoing experiments and tantalizing findings in the lab of Meredith Jackrel, an assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Neurological diseases may seem like an unusual area of research for a chemist, but Jackrel's expertise with the structure and function of proteins has put her in position to make real progress against ALS.

She recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) worth nearly $430,000 to further her research into Matrin-3, a poorly understood protein that appears to play a pivotal role in some cases of ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a type of dementia caused by damage to the neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.

The grant will help Jackrel build on previous work that suggests a potential way forward in the fight against ALS.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoLifeSciences.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Decoding the Dynamics of Multiple Sclerosis Lesions