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Friday, February 23 • 8:00am - 12:00pm
341 mTOR Signaling and Arginine Sensing by CASTOR1 in Tauopathies.

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Andrii Kovalenko BS, Chao Ma MS, Leslie A. Sandusky-Beltran PhD, John Calahatian, Huimin Liang MS, Mani Kallupurackal, Jerry Hunt BS, Kevin Nash PhD, Margaret Fahnestock PhD, Dave Morgan PhD, Paula Bickford PhD, Daniel Lee PhD.

By the middle of the 21st century, 8 billion Americans will be affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is the most prevalent among the neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies. In tauopathies, hyperphosphorylation and aggregation of microtubule-stabilizing protein tau (MAPT) was shown to promote neuronal loss and brain atrophy. Although the research on tau has been conducted for more than a hundred years, the cause and the mechanism of tau pathology was not discovered. Available medical treatments are not capable of reversing the pathology and clearing the neurofibrillary tangles formed by aggregated tau. Barely slowing the progression of the disease and helping patients to cope with the disease and accepting the universally fatal outcome is the best we can do up to date.mTOR pathway is a master regulator of cellular metabolic state. Its inhibition leads to an increase in autophagy (catabolic state) and increased longevity associated with it, as shown in animal models. Thus it's thought to be one of the key modulators of aging and diseases like Alzheimer's for which age is a primary predictor. The great power of the mTOR pathway means that it has to be very tightly regulated. Nutrient availability is its potent regulator. Our research focuses on the availability of arginine, and it's role in the regulation of the mTOR pathway through interaction with CASTOR, a cytosolic nutrient sensor that controls the activation of the mTORC1 complex.


Andrii Kovalenko

Staff, College of Pharmacy

Friday February 23, 2018 8:00am - 12:00pm