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Elucidating the effects of ageing on the nucleoporin-directed neural cell type-specific nuclear architecture and gene regulation


Start Date
End Date
Total Funding
€ 1 499 999
Funding Programme
European Countries Involved
Ageing is one of the most critical risk factors for neurological and psychiatric diseases. However, the biological links between physiological ageing and pathological development are still largely unknown. A solid understanding of the biology of brain ageing will thus be a key to developing the means to treat these diseases. Since neurons in the brain are mostly generated during development with limited capacity of replacement after birth, they need to maintain their identity and function throughout our lives. This project aims at seeking a link between the fundamental mechanism underlying the long-term maintenance of neural identity and effects of ageing on that. We recently discovered that a cell type-specific nuclear architecture organized by nucleoporins in cooperation with a key transcription factor (TF), work as a structural gatekeeper for the maintenance of neural progenitor cells (NPs). Strikingly, nucleoporins are the most long-lived proteins in a cell and are known to be damaged during brain ageing. Thus, the proposed experiments will test a specific hypothesis that the nucleoporin-TF directed nuclear architecture is a fundamental principle governing cell type-specific gene regulation, and that pathological ageing impairs that critical relationship.
To test this hypothesis, we will use interdisciplinary approaches. First, the changes of molecular constituents of nucleoporin-TF partnerships from NPs into the post-mitotic neurons are probed. Second, the roles of identified partnerships in the maintenance of neuronal identity and function will be investigated using biochemical, imaging, genome-wide and behavioural approaches. Efforts will be directed toward studying the effects of ageing and Alzheimer’s diseases on the identified mechanisms. The successful completion of this research will uncover a novel aspect of regulation in the maintenance of cellular identity and open up a new field of research in neuroscience.
Project partners
Deutsches Zentrum Fur Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen Ev
Alzheimer Europe's database on research projects was developed as part of the 2020 Work Plan which received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014–2020).