Poster Title

Spectroscopic Studies Reveal Interacting Partners and Unique Structural Features of mitoNEET

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Biology

Minor

History

Institution

University of Louisville

KY House District #

29

KY Senate District #

20

Department

Biology

Abstract

In Kentucky alone 14.5% of the adult population have been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes and an additional 1,168,000 people are considered to be pre-diabetic and at a high risk of developing this disease. The cost of medical care to the state of Kentucky are immense and the American Diabetes Association estimates over $3.5 billion in direct medical expenses per year related to type-2 diabetes. Currently, many people with diabetes are treated with a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs). One of the most common prescribed TZDs is pioglitazone. The mechanism of pioglitazone’s medicinal action was thought to be understood, until a new protein named mitoNEET was discovered in 2007 that directly interacts with TZDs. Further research on mitoNEET has opened up the possibility that this protein could be a target for a new class of drugs to treat diabetes. Unfortunately, the biological function(s) of mitoNEET are still ill defined. Research on this protein will help us to move towards the development of drugs to treat type-2 diabetes. Our research focused on identifying and characterizing other cellular compounds that are able to interact with mitoNEET to discover the protein’s biological function(s). We have discovered that mitoNEET interacts with an important class of molecules that serve as the cellular energy currency (adenylates) of the cell. Further research into mitoNEET’s interaction with these energy molecules will help us to better understand mitoNEET’s function in health and disease. A thorough understanding on how mitoNEET’s function and dysfunction is connected to diabetes will potentially open the door to develop future drugs to treat type-2 diabetes. Financial support by the National Science Foundation for this project is gratefully acknowledged (NSF- CHE1609440).

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Spectroscopic Studies Reveal Interacting Partners and Unique Structural Features of mitoNEET

In Kentucky alone 14.5% of the adult population have been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes and an additional 1,168,000 people are considered to be pre-diabetic and at a high risk of developing this disease. The cost of medical care to the state of Kentucky are immense and the American Diabetes Association estimates over $3.5 billion in direct medical expenses per year related to type-2 diabetes. Currently, many people with diabetes are treated with a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs). One of the most common prescribed TZDs is pioglitazone. The mechanism of pioglitazone’s medicinal action was thought to be understood, until a new protein named mitoNEET was discovered in 2007 that directly interacts with TZDs. Further research on mitoNEET has opened up the possibility that this protein could be a target for a new class of drugs to treat diabetes. Unfortunately, the biological function(s) of mitoNEET are still ill defined. Research on this protein will help us to move towards the development of drugs to treat type-2 diabetes. Our research focused on identifying and characterizing other cellular compounds that are able to interact with mitoNEET to discover the protein’s biological function(s). We have discovered that mitoNEET interacts with an important class of molecules that serve as the cellular energy currency (adenylates) of the cell. Further research into mitoNEET’s interaction with these energy molecules will help us to better understand mitoNEET’s function in health and disease. A thorough understanding on how mitoNEET’s function and dysfunction is connected to diabetes will potentially open the door to develop future drugs to treat type-2 diabetes. Financial support by the National Science Foundation for this project is gratefully acknowledged (NSF- CHE1609440).