J Alex Parker

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There is no treatment for the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington disease (HD). Cystamine is a candidate drug; however, the mechanisms by which it operates remain unclear. We show here that cystamine increases levels of the heat shock DnaJ-containing protein 1b (HSJ1b) that are low in HD patients. HSJ1b inhibits polyQ-huntingtin-induced death of striatal(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in the protein huntingtin (htt). HD pathogenesis appears to involve the production of mutated N-terminal htt, cytoplasmic and nuclear aggregation of htt, and abnormal activity of htt interactor proteins essential to neuronal survival. Before cell(More)
Thicknesses and curvatures of the optic components of enucleated eyes were determined in both transverse and sagittal planes. The cornea and lens surfaces are closer approximations to spheres than are the retina and choroid. Refractive indices of the cornea, aqueous and vitreous humours were obtained by two techniques at eight wavelengths across the visible(More)
Neurodegenerative diseases share pathogenic mechanisms at the cellular level including protein misfolding, excitotoxicity and altered RNA homeostasis among others. Recent advances have shown that the genetic causes underlying these pathologies overlap, hinting at the existence of a genetic network for neurodegeneration. This is perhaps best illustrated by(More)
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is caused by polyalanine expansion in nuclear protein PABPN1 [poly(A) binding protein nuclear 1] and characterized by muscle degeneration. Druggable modifiers of proteotoxicity in degenerative diseases, notably the longevity modulators sirtuins, may constitute useful therapeutic targets. However, the modifiers of(More)
An expansion of the hexanucleotide GGGGCC repeat in the first intron of C9ORF72 gene was recently linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is not known if the mutation results in a gain of function, a loss of function or if, perhaps both mechanisms are linked to pathogenesis. We generated a genetic model of ALS to explore the biological consequences of a(More)
Mutations in the DNA/RNA binding proteins TDP-43 and FUS are associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration. Intracellular accumulations of wild type TDP-43 and FUS are observed in a growing number of late-onset diseases suggesting that TDP-43 and FUS proteinopathies may contribute to multiple neurodegenerative diseases.(More)
One of the current challenges of neurodegenerative disease research is to determine whether signaling pathways that are essential to cellular homeostasis might contribute to neuronal survival and modulate the pathogenic process in human disease. In Caenorhabditis elegans, sir-2.1/SIRT1 overexpression protects neurons from the early phases of expanded(More)
Huntingtin-interacting protein 1 (HIP1) was identified through its interaction with htt (huntingtin), the Huntington's disease (HD) protein. HIP1 is an endocytic protein that influences transport and function of AMPA and NMDA receptors in the brain. However, little is known about its contribution to neuronal dysfunction in HD. We report that the(More)