Tag: Lindquist Lab

Yeast overproducing alpha-synuclein

Small molecules found to protect cells in multiple models of Parkinson’s disease

December 28, 2009

Several structurally similar small molecules appear capable of protecting cells from alpha-synuclein toxicity, a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Gene mutation alone causes transmissible prion disease

August 26, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have shown definitively that mutations associated with prion diseases are sufficient to cause a transmissible neurodegenerative disease. Deciphering the origins of prion diseases could help farmers and policy-makers determine how best to control a prion disease outbreak in livestock and to prevent prion transmission to humans.

Redefining what it means to be a prion

April 2, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have found a large number of new prions, greatly expanding scientists’ notion of how important prions might be in normal biology and demonstrating that they play many and varied roles in the inheritance of biological traits.

Schematic of a general signalling pathway

Calculating gene and protein connections in a Parkinson’s model

February 22, 2009

Researchers have created an algorithm that meshes existing data to produce a clearer step-by-step flow chart of how cells respond to stimuli. Using this new method, Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists have analyzed alpha-synuclein toxicity to identify genes and pathways that can affect cell survival. Misfolded copies of the alpha-synuclein protein in brain cells are a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

Photos of healthy greater wax moths and those killed by fungus

The Hsp90-antifungal combo, please: Compromising fungi in the immunocompromised

February 9, 2009

Even the most drug-resistant fungi can be eradicated in multiple in vitro and in vivo models using a lethal combination of an antifungal agent and inhibition of a specific heat shock protein (Hsp90). Such findings could point to a novel approach for the development of future antifungal therapies for patients with compromised immune systems, including HIV, chemotherapy, and organ transfer patients.

Study reveals connection between genetic and environmental causes of Parkinson’s disease

February 1, 2009

Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have found that a single gene, known as PARK9, protects cells from manganese toxicity and rescues neurons from over-expression of the protein alpha-synuclein. Misfolded alpha-synuclein is the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

Photos of yeast plates

Misfolded proteins accelerate yeast evolution

November 25, 2008

In yeast, a protein-misfolding mechanism can reveal hidden genetic variations and thus generate new phenotypes that may increase cell survival. Researchers now have demonstrated that when yeast cells are stressed, this mechanism is triggered much more often.

Susan Lindquist wins HHMI Collaborative Innovation Award

November 20, 2008

Whitehead Member and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator Susan Lindquist has been awarded a Collaborative Innovation Award, part of a four year, $40 million pilot project launched by the HHMI.

New clue emerges for cellular damage in Huntington’s disease

November 17, 2008

Huntington’s disease is caused by misfolded and clumped proteins that interfere with the cell’s protein quality control, which may lead to cellular toxicity and eventually cell death.

Whitehead’s Luke Whitesell receives top research grant from Johnson & Johnson

October 10, 2008

Whitesell has been chosen to participate in Johnson & Johnson’s Focused Funding Program.

Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist honored with Harvard Centennial Medal

June 4, 2008

Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist has been awarded a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Centennial Medal from Harvard University, given annually to graduate alumni who have made exceptional contributions to society.

Susan Lindquist receives Otto Warburg Medal

March 27, 2008

Award recognizes contributions to understanding of neurological disease.

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