This group works on the effect of endogenous and exogenous aldehyde such as formaldehyde, glycolaldehyde and ribose on the structure-function of neural proteins (Tau protein, amyloid-beta and alpha-synuclein) which are related with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. We hypothesize that the chronic impairment caused by excess endogenous formaldehyde is one of the important pathogens to trigger and accelerate the age-related cognitive impairment. Formaldehyde in excess induces tau protein aggregation to form globular-like aggregates which are toxic to neural cells when formaldehyde metabolism is imbalanced. Formaldehyde may also act as a major factor in learning and memory for mammals under physiological conditions. In addition, D-Ribose was found to react rapidly with proteins such as Tau protein and Alpha-synuclein and produce AGEs in cells. AGEs resulted from ribosylation trigger cell death with oxidative stress. We will go on studying the mechanism of formaldehyde metabolic imbalance in the age-related cognitive impairment and dysfunction of neural cells in the presence of D-ribose and other aldehydes. We are also interested in the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of retinal neurodegeneration diseases. The relation of a major retinal neurodegeneration disease, primary open-angle glaucoma, with the abnormal metabolism of endogenous formaldehyde is addressed. We have studied the role of noncoding RNAs in the neurogenesis during brain and eye development. In addition, we try to evaluate the effects of an abnormal physical environment, the elimination of geomagnetic field, on brain function and development. We have established the hypogeomagnetic field (HGMF) system for cell culture and animal experiments to examine the biological effects and mechanisms of HGMF.
Institue of Biophysics Chinese Academy of Sciences
China, Beijing, Chaoyang, 北辰西路1号中国科学院奥运村科技园