Research Initiation Award: Determining the Role of Cytoskeletal Proteins in the Fibrillation of Amyloid-beta Peptides in the presence of Tryptamines and Flavones
Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty member's research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at the home institution, and involves undergraduate students in immersive research experiences. The award to Tougaloo College has the potential to broader impacts in a number of areas. This project will support active research-based laboratory programs by assisting in the development a molecular dynamics simulation lab, thereby enhancing the research infrastructure of the institution and expanding research opportunities for students.
The goal of this study is to understand the structure and interactive dynamics of peptides and proteins which are responsible for dementia. The project integrates experimental and computational studies to understand the chaperone activities of the cytoskeletal proteins tubulin and actin on the aggregation of amyloid beta (Abeta) peptides, which compose the main component of neurodegenerative plaques in Alzheimer disease (AD). The proposed research will be performed with two distinct aims, which are to determine the link between the structural integrity of cytoskeletal proteins (tubulin and actin) and Abeta aggregation, and understanding the folding processes of full-length Abeta (1-42) and its smaller counterparts in the presence of mono and dihydroxyflavones as well as hydroxyl and methoxyl derivatives of tryptamine (serotonin and melatonin, respectively).
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.