Exploring Thiol Proteomics In Muscular Dystrophy Vai Mass Spectrometry
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a devastating progressive disease that leads to the premature deaths of 1 in 3,500 boys. There is no current cure or effective treatment for the disease. Although the primary defect is genetic, secondary processes involving persistent inflammation and oxidative stress exacerbate disease progression and, as such, are potential therapeutic targets.
Marisa’s project will focus on identifying proteins that are affected by oxidative stress with a view to developing specific antioxidants which can reverse or prevent oxidation. She is working with Proteomics International to develop advanced mass spectrometry methods to measure the oxidation level of thiol groups on proteins, which are particularly sensitive to oxidation.
Marisa aims to use these advanced methods to identify which proteins are oxidised in both normal and dystrophic animal models. In addition, by using bioinformatics Marisa will be able to establish which structural compartments of muscle cells are sensitive to oxidative stress. Such data would be invaluable in designing antioxidants to target cellular compartments under the greatest oxidative stress.
This project is focused on muscular dystrophy, but oxidative stress has also been linked to pathology in a range of conditions and diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart attack, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, liver disease, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and aging. Marisa expects the techniques she is developing will be applicable to other diseases involving oxidative stress.