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Research Grants - 2013


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Research Grants 2013


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2013 Grants - Patil

Role of Glucose Metabolism in Apolipoprotein E Lipidation and Secretion

Sachin Patil, Ph.D.
Widener University
Chester, Pennsylvania

2013 New Investigator Research Grant

Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is an important protein in the study of Alzheimer's disease. ApoE is known to bind to beta-amyloid, a protein fragment that is toxic to nerve cells and is thought to be involved in the disease process. Furthermore, people with certain forms of ApoE have higher risk of Alzheimer's disease than people with other forms of the protein.

ApoE normally becomes modified by the attachment of fat-like molecules in a process called lipidation. This process increases the ability of ApoE to bind beta-amyloid, and may improve clearance of beta-amyloid from the brain, helping to reduce the risk of disease. There is evidence that lipidation of ApoE is impaired in the brains of people who have Alzheimer's disease, possibly explaining why beta-amyloid accumulates in the brain.

Sachin Patil, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed to study ApoE lipidation in the brain. They plan to focus on how the brain uses sugars as energy (glucose metabolism) because there is evidence that impaired glucose metabolism, such as occurs in diabetes, inhibits ApoE lipidation. Such an effect may explain why regions of the brain that have impaired glucose metabolism also tend to develop amyloid plaques. The researchers will study drugs that improve glucose metabolism and whether treatment of animals with such drugs can improve ApoE lipidation and clearance of beta-amyloid from the brain. These studies may identify new approaches and new drug candidates for slowing or halting the progression of Alzheimer's disease in the brain.