Mitochondrial Function and Dynamics
Glutamatergic Synapses and Calcium Homeostasis
Neuronal Dysfunction and Degeneration
Transcription deregulation and mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease
Altered mitochondrial function and Src signaling in Huntington's disease
Role of SAPAP3 in Huntington's disease
Exosomal release content in Huntington's disease
Mitochondrial deregulation in alpha-synuclein model of Parkinson's disease
Our group aims to understand fundamental cell and molecular mechanisms in early/initial stages of brain neurodegenerative disorders, namely in Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These are chronic, debilitating, and age-related brain pathologies, characterized by aggregation of particular proteins, selective neurodegeneration and progressive cognitive decline, and for which there is still no cure. Although there are several mechanisms by which neurons degenerate, the initial steps of neuronal dysfunction, occurring before the main disease-related symptoms, are not completely understood. In this perspective, by using molecular, cellular, ex-vivo and in vivo approaches, we aim to investigate early stages of disease-related modifications affecting mitochondrial function, biogenesis and dynamics and related signaling processes, including redox deregulation and glutamate postsynaptic dysfunction, as well as the possible transfer of proteins, mRNA or miRNAs (e.g. through exosomes) between cells. We use different models of neurodegenerative disorders and peripheral human cells derived from patients (e.g. human PBMCs, skin fibroblasts-derived iPSC) and non-affected individuals; the latter is supported by a close interaction with neurologists at the local hospital, CHUC. Identification of initial brain pathological processes is expected to uncover relevant molecular targets for therapeutic interventions. Therefore, the group aligns basic interest in early disease stages with potential translational research, as well as investigation on neuroprotective therapies, namely modifiers of mitochondrial function, glutamatergic synapses and transcriptional regulation using pharmacological compounds (e.g. HDAC inhibitors, resveratrol, pridopidine), modulation of protein expression (e.g. SIRT3, SAPAP3) and/or gene correction strategies (e.g. HTT gene exon 1 deletion).
Information about journal articles, updated at 17-10-2021, from platform CIÊNCIAVITAE.
Shaping the Nrf2-ARE-related pathways in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Fão, Lígia; Mota, Sandra; Rego, Ana Cristina, 2019. Ageing research reviews. 2019. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/31415806 . 10.1016/j.arr.2019.100942 . Ageing research reviews