Sunday, January 30, 2011

IGF-1 Update

If you have been following this blog for some time, you know I have mentioned Dr. Maria Pennuto (lead researcher) and IGF-1 in several articles.  Her initial research allowed the nicknaming of the project “Might Mouse” because of the positive results the mice models had when given IFG-1.


rom everything I have read it appears to have great potential, especially if the treatment program is started pre-or-early onset.  This week another update was written on this promising research.  The article is a little too technical for my liking, but it is not written for people like me.

Insulin-like growth factor 1 and androgen signaling crosstalk in the pathogenesis of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy

Article Excerpt:  “The rationale of this research is that once we know how phosphorylation of AR is regulated we will be able to identify agents that promote such modification for therapeutic purposes. We anticipate that we will elucidate how phosphorylation of AR is influenced by tissue-specificity, age, polyglutamine expansion as well as by methylation and palmitoylation. With this information in our hands, we will be able to screen for agents that affect these modifications to enhance phosphorylation.”

Dr. Maria Pennuto works out of the Department of Neuroscience at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova. Dr. Pennuto's lab focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis in neurodegenerative disorders, such as spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy and Huntington’s disease, using molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, and behavioral analysis. She previously worked with Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck at NIH. Her current work is based upon results that Maria discovered when she worked at NIH. She found that a specific modification of the mutant androgen receptors results in decreased toxicity. This modification was due to the activation of an enzyme known as PKA. She is also a 2009 recipient of a KDA Research Grant for $20,000.

Ms. Pennuto has been a guest on our KDA chat room and also attended a couple of KDA conferences.  If you want to know more about her research check out  the chat room transcript, “Research Update and IGF-1”. 

I always enjoy writing about research update.  I realize the research (discovery) process is a long one, but it is a necessary one for all of us living with Kennedy’s Disease.  J-9 or IGF-1 might just be the treatment that will change people’s lives.

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