Prof. Lahiri (Professor of Neurobiology, Indiana University School ) Editor-in-Chief of the Bentham Science journal "Current Alzheimer Research" (IF: 3.289) recently gave an interview to the Press team of Indiana University School of Medicine regarding his team’s research on the role of miRNAs against Alzheimer’s disease.
He described in detail the work done in his lab on the role of microRNAs (non-coding RNA molecules that regulate protein production) in Alzheimer’s disease. In the interview, Lahiri described the functions of microRNAs, and the importance of their findings to the research community involved in developing new strategies to treat the disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease occurs when there is a buildup of amyloid-beta peptide in plaque (APP) in the brain,” explained Lahiri. “Why these plaques form remains a mystery, but finding ways to regulate and disrupt these plaques is where our research begins.” One of the normal functions of APP is removing excess iron from cells, which is believed to limit the formation of plaques. Lahiri’s team discovered activity in miR-346, a unique microRNA molecule which is involved in up-regulating the production and subsequent buildup of APP in conjunction with iron responsive elements. These findings suggest that a healthy amount of iron, APP and RNA complexes (a combination called FeAR) must exist to maintain APP homeostasis, which in turn is necessary for keeping the brain healthy. With further research, the team hopes to learn more about miR-346 signaling and how the findings can be applied to future patients in the clinic.
Dr. Debomoy Lahiri is Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, USA. His major research focus is to understand the mechanism of aging, origin and biogenesis of the amyloid plaque, and to discover drug targets for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other brain disorders. Dr. Lahiri’s group has shown the novel role of specific microRNA species in regulation of genes implicated in AD as well as the role of gene and environment interaction in late-life disorders. Also, his team has made significant contributions to understanding the biochemical pathway for neurodevelopment disorders, such as autism and fragile X syndrome. Dr. Lahiri is the Editor-In-Chief of the international journal, ‘Current Alzheimer Research' (Bentham). He authored books, such as ‘Protective Strategies for Neurodegenerative Diseases' published by the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Lahiri was awarded grants as a Principal Investigator from the National Institute on Aging, NIH, and Alzheimer’s Association, USA. His other honors include the ‘Zenith Award’ and listing in Marquis' ‘Who's Who in the World'.