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Key antioxidant that can protect against Huntington's disease discovered

Washington, Aug 26 : Researchers have identified that glutathione peroxidase activity - a key antioxidant in cells - protects against symptoms of Huntington's disease in model organisms.


Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder which currently has no cure.

The team of University of Leicester researchers carried out research for more than six years to identify new potential drug targets for the disease.

They used model systems, such as baker's yeast, fruit flies, and cultured mammalian cells to help uncover potential mechanisms underlying disease at the cellular level.

They initially screened a genome-wide collection of yeast genes and found several candidates which protected against Huntington's related symptoms in yeast. They then validated their findings in fruit flies and mammalian cells, and found that glutathione peroxidase activity is robustly protective in these models of Huntington's disease.

The team now aims to further validate the observations regarding glutathione peroxidase activity, in order to understand whether this could have therapeutic relevance for Huntington's.

In addition, they have identified many additional genes that are protective and aim to further explore these to see if there are any additional therapeutic possibilities suggested by their research.

The study was published in journal Nature Genetics.

--ANI (Posted on 27-08-2013)

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