[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/453674]
Prof Robert Richards
Brief description There are fourteen human genetic diseases that are caused by a similar mutation mechanism and have similar clinical outcomes - the loss of function, degeneration and eventual death of nerve cells. This group of diseases includes Huntington's Disease. They are transmitted from parent to offspring such that each child of an affected parent has 50% risk of inheriting the affected gene and therefore developing the disease. The symptoms of these diseases typically develop later in life - between the ages of 35 and 50 years. While the different genes for these diseases have been identified the pathways that lead from their similar form of mutation to their similar clinical outcomes are not yet understood. Some evidence suggests that certain of these diseases have a common toxic component but this component is not shared by all of the disease genes and so an additional agent that they have in common is being sought. This research will use a genetic model organism - the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to test the identity of a good candidate (RNA) for a common toxic agent and to provide information about the pathway by which RNA leads to nerve cell degeneration and death. Accurate and complete knowledge of the identity and composition of the pathways that lead from the mutation to the disease are crucial for correct target identification in the development of drug leads.
Funding Amount $AUD 281,118.34
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant