Latest News for 09/2021
03 Aug 2021
Treating mice that have a Parkinson’s disease-causing mutation with a small molecule compound restores the removal of damaged mitochondria from their brain cells, shows a study published today in eLife. The findings may help explain what goes wrong in dopamine-producing brain cells in people with mutations that cause Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the progressive loss of brain cells that produce dopamine. This causes the hallmark symptoms of the disease, including tremors, rigid movements, sleep problems and dementia.
15 Jul 2020
University of Dundee researchers have demonstrated a new method of destroying an ‘undruggable’ protein known to play a role in cancer, raising the possibility of a new therapeutic approach to the disease. Mutations of the K-Ras protein have long been known to cause many cancers, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers, but despite decades of work by researchers across the world, an inhibitor for this protein has proven elusive. As a result, scientists have increasingly looked to novel ways of targeting K-Ras.
01 Feb 2019
Researchers from the Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine have been awarded a £275,000 grant from Diabetes UK. This inter-divisional and cross-School funding has been awarded to Professor Hari Hundal (Division of Cell Signalling & Immunology), Dr Ian Ganley (MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit) and Professor Rory McCrimmon (School of Medicine).
07 Nov 2018
Scientists in the School have confirmed that a key cellular pathway that protects the brain from damage is disrupted in Parkinson’s patients, raising the possibility of new treatments for the disease. Parkinson’s is a disabling disorder of the brain for which there is no cure. Mutations in two genes called PINK1 and Parkin are associated with early-onset forms of Parkinson’s. Both encode distinct classes of enzymes that play a pivotal role in protecting the brain against stress.
06 Nov 2018
PhD students from the MRC PPU took part in the Biotechnology YES 2018 entrepreneurial competition last week. Luke Fulcher (Sapkota lab), Lambert Montava Garriga (Ganley lab), Maria Zachari (Ganley lab) and Marianna Longo (Ganley lab) formed the team “AllerTek” which sought to combat the presence of food allergens in meals. The biotechnology YES competition allows PhD students from across the UK to compete against each other with their ideas in a “dragons den” style pitch to secure theoretical funding for their innovation.
15 Jan 2018
Mitophagy is the autophagic removal of damaged or impaired mitochondria. A new study published in Cell Metabolism from Ian Ganley and colleagues, shows for the first time that dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra undergo a striking amount of mitophagy. This is important because it is this population of neurons that degenerate in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and impaired mitophagy has been implicated in this pathology.
09 Aug 2016
Mitochondria are the essential energy-generating powerhouses that provide our cells with the energy of life. However, their malfunction has a dark side. Damaged mitochondria have the potential to release destructive reactive oxygen species that have serious and deleterious consequences for the cell. To cope with this, our cells have evolved a protective mechanism to prevent such a “mitochondrial meltdown”, by eliminating damaged mitochondria through a process termed mitophagy.