G-alpha proteins and their effectors (AC, PLC, rho and ERK) in central cardiovascular regulation in health and disease [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: How proteins inside brain cells control the heart and circulation

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Ann Goodchild (Principal investigator)

Brief description High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as stroke that are huge emotional and economic societal burdens. The brain is essential to the control of blood pressure. Specific sites within the brain are crucial in setting the resting level of blood pressure and controlling blood pressure in response to stimuli such as lying or standing. The activity of these brain sites is altered in conditions such as high blood pressure. We will determine the role specific proteins within cells, which are important in cell to cell communication in the brain, have in the control of blood pressure. Cells in the brain communicate using chemical messengers that act at receptors on the cells surface. Three forms of these receptors exist. We are interested in the most abundant form of receptor that has about 860 members. When activated these receptors use a complex cascade of proteins within the cell to dictate that cell's response. We know that some of these receptors in the brain are involved in the regulation of blood pressure and that some of them are altered in conditions such as hypertension. We could target each of the receptors but for many of them we do not know the chemical than activates them. Fortunately each of 860 receptors act primarily via just a few specialised proteins. Initially we will target these proteins to determine the impact these receptors have in altering the resting levels of blood pressure, their role in response to stimuli that affect blood pressure and the role they play in hypertension. Three approaches will be used: altering function of the proteins, identifying the types of proteins present and identifying the cells involved, in brains sites important in regulation of the heart and blood vessels. This novel approach to understanding how the brain controls blood pressure will undoubtedly identify targets for novel blood pressure lowering therapies and targets for genetically determined causes of hypertension.

Funding Amount $AUD 636,716.71

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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