#ScienceSaturday posts share relevant and exciting scientific news with the KAND community, and are compiled by Alejandro Doval. Alejandro is from Spain and serves as Team Leader of the KIF1A.ORG parent-led Research Engagement Team. Send news suggestions to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent KIF1A-Related Research
Biophysical Society 2020 Annual Meeting
Several KIF1A researchers, including many collaborators with KIF1A.ORG, presented at this year’s Biophysical Society meeting, which took place February 15–19 in San Diego, California.
Regulation of KIF1A Behavior and Motility via Tau’s Structural Dynamics
In this work, KIF1A.ORG Research Team member Dominique Lessard and Dr. Christopher Berger of University of Vermont explore Tau, a microtubule associated protein, as a “potential regulator of KIF1A pausing and subsequent motility.” Here’s a short summary provided by Dominique for KIF1A families:
We know that KIF1A needs to walk along microtubule “roadways” to delivery cargo in our nerve cells. However, just like the roadways that we drive on, microtubules have many obstacles on their surface that help regulate KIF1A cargo delivery. This study is focused on how one obstacle, Tau, regulates aspects of KIF1A function such as walking, pausing, and landing on the microtubule.
Look for an upcoming Research Simplified piece by Dominique Lessard to help explain this research further. You can access the full poster presented at the Biophysical Society meeting and abstract below.
Thank you, Berger Lab, for sharing the full poster of your research with the KIF1A.ORG community!
Other posters presented at the Biophysical Society meeting are included below. We’ll share additional information as we learn more about this research.
Biochemical Characterization of the KIF1A Chemomechanical Cycle
Taylor M. Zaniewski & William O. Hancock, Pennsylvania State University
Motility Characteristics of Human KIF1A Mutants in Hippocampal Neurons in Relation to Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia
Shiori Matsumoto, Shinsuke Niwa & Kumiko Hayashi, Tohoku University, Japan; Kyoko Chiba, University of California – Davis
Tracking Down the Fast and Superprocessive KIF1A with Gold Scattering Microscopy
Allison M. Gicking, Pennsylvania State University
Rare Disease News
A crisper CRISPR
“Fewer off-target edits and greater targeting scope bring gene editing technology closer to treating human diseases.
Not too long ago, CRISPR was a cryptic acronym — or, to some ears, a drawer to keep lettuce fresh. Today, CRISPR Cas9, the most popular form of the powerful gene-editing technology, is widely used to accelerate experiments, grow pesticide-resistant crops, and design drugs to treat life-threatening genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia.”
New Spinal Delivery Method Renders Stem Cell Therapy Safer, More Effective for ALS, Other Diseases, Early Study Suggests
“A new spinal cell delivery method may reduce the risks and boost the effectiveness of stem cell therapy designed to regenerate the nervous system in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an early study in rats has found.”
Synaptotagmin 13 is neuroprotective across motor neuron diseases
“Gene therapy with Syt13 prolongs the lifespan of ALS mice by 14% and SMA mice by 50% by preserving motor neurons and delaying muscle denervation. SYT13 decreases endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis of motor neurons, both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, SYT13 is a resilience factor that can protect motor neurons and a candidate therapeutic target across motor neuron diseases.”