DIVISIONE DI GENETICA E BIOLOGIA CELLULARE
The aim of the research
Hereditary neuropathies are a common problem seen in neurology, in which the wrapping around nerves (called myelin) that conduct impulses to muscle are damaged.
Many neuropathies appear in every generation of a stricken family and unfortunately affect children. Although many disease genes have been identified for neuropathies, how disease is caused is poorly understood, and there is no effective treatment. Genetic studies of hereditary neuropathies strongly suggest that most do not result simply because the affected gene does not work. Instead the disease gene has a toxic effect on the cells in the nerve. In order to understand that toxicity, and to envisage a therapeutic treatment, we study mice containig the mutant gene, that we have shown produce excellent model of the disease. In these mice we have identified the toxic mechanism, and we have shown that genetic modulation of this pathway may ameliorate the disease. In this study we propose to further analyze this pathway and how pharmacological compounds that target it may improve the disease outcome with the final goal to treat hereditary neuropathies.