Cellular Process in Hibernating Ground Squirrels Stokes New Treatments for Stroke

Published By : 20 Nov 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

New treatments have been in the pipeline for brain damage due to stroke as hibernating ground squirrels have provided some important clues. The squirrels have been studied to experience a dramatic reduction in blood flow during hibernation, although they recover with no side effects. The blood flow reduction has been observed to be similar in case of humans after suffering a particular type of stroke. A potential drug has been identified by National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded scientists that could equip the brains of ischemic stroke patients with the same resilience. The drug has been examined to achieve this by imitating the cellular changes that protect the brains of the squirrels.

Lead researcher, John Hallenbeck has found that the SUMOylation cellular process helps the brains of hibernating ground squirrels to survive the reduced blood flow while going into overdrive. The study has appeared in The FASEB Journal.

Ebselen Found to Boost SUMOylation in Brains of Healthy Mice More than Control Injection

At first, author Joshua Bernstock and other researchers assessed whether SUMOylation is boosted by any of the molecules totaling above 4,000 from the NCATS small molecule collections as they block a SUMO-specific protease (SENP) called SENP2. Senior author, Wei Yang, Ph.D. had created an artificial SUMO protein in his lab which had been used in the study. The compounds had been examined using an automated process to find whether they prevent SENP2 from severing the connection between the artificial SUMO protein and a tiny metal bead.

Further tests and computer modeling helped the researchers to whittle down several candidate molecules to only eight of them that were non-toxic and could bind to SENP2 in cells. Going further, 6-thioguanine and ebselen, two of those, had been found to keep rat cells alive in the absence of glucose and oxygen while boosting SUMOylation in them.

Back To Top