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2013 Grants - Klann
Targeting AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Alzheimer's Disease
Eric Klann, Ph.D.
New York University
New York, New York
2013 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Nerve cells use many signaling pathways to regulate aspects of cell function and to perform essential tasks involved in learning and memory. One of those signaling pathways involves a protein called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a type of protein that modifies and regulates the function of other proteins. AMPK is known to be involved in learning and memory, and its activity becomes dysregulated during oxidative stress abnormal processing of oxygen that can cause damage to cells, which has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease.
Eric Klann, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed to study the role of AMPK in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Using mice that have been genetically altered to have an Alzheimer's-like condition, the researchers plan to test whether AMPK activity is dysregulated. They will use molecular techniques to reduce AMPK activity in order to test whether such a change prevents or slows the development of Alzheimer's-like brain changes and associated declines in memory. Finally, Dr. Klann and colleagues will study whether drugs to inhibit AMPK activity have similar benefits. These studies will help determine if the AMPK signaling pathway is a potential target for drugs to slow or prevent the progression of brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease.