University of Helsinki
3'UTR -based regulation of neurotrophic factors as a novel tool to understand neuronal function and find treatment for Parkinson's disease
Academy of Finland
The function of the brain depends on neuronal networks built and maintained in part via accurate spatiotemporal expression of neurotrophic factors (NTFs). In neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons disease, contacts between specific neurons are lost. In theory, elevation of NTFs in the correct target neurons would enable restoration of the original neuronal network connections. However, currently no means to specifically elevate the levels of NTFs limited to the correct expression site are available. By identifying molecules responsible for regulation of endogenous NTF levels and developing new genetics tools we aim to show that restoration of neural networks is possible. The new tools already generated in my laboratory or under construction enable to uncover novel functions of NTFs, reveal new drug targets and provide important mechanistic insight into how NTFs regulate specific neuronal network function.