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The Dark Side of NAD+: The Role of NAD+ synthase NMNAT in Cellular Resilience

Weekly Seminar | Not Open to the Public
Who Should Attend: 


Research in the Zhai lab is focused on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms of neural degeneration and protection in the context of both common and rare neurodegenerative diseases. We use a ‘Drosophila - mammalian tissue culture two-model’ systems, to identify genetic components in Drosophila and characterize the cellular mechanisms in mammalian cells. We have identified and characterized several neuroprotective factors. Among them, NMNAT (nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase) was the first discovered and most extensively characterized so far. We were the first show that NMNAT functions as an essential neuronal maintenance factor in vivo, and discovered a chaperone function of NMNAT that contributes to its robust neuroprotective activity. In this talk, we will discuss the role of NMNAT in protein homeostasis and cellular resilience in neurons and glia, and the cell type specific mechanisms and consequences of enhanced NAD+ synthesis.

Dr. Grace Zhai's Figure


Kai Ruan, Yi Zhu, Chong Li, Jennifer M Brazill, R Grace Zhai
Alternative splicing of Drosophila Nmnat functions as a switch to enhance neuroprotection under stress
Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 30;6:10057. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10057.
Yi Zhu, Chong Li, Xianzun Tao, Jennifer M Brazill, Joun Park, Zoraida Diaz-Perez, R Grace Zhai
Nmnat restores neuronal integrity by neutralizing mutant Huntingtin aggregate-induced progressive toxicity
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Sep 17;116(38):19165-19175. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1904563116. Epub 2019 Sep 4.
Jiaqi Liu, Xianzun Tao, Yi Zhu, Chong Li, Kai Ruan, Zoraida Diaz-Perez, Priyamvada Rai, Hongbo Wang, R Grace Zhai
NMNAT promotes glioma growth through regulating post-translational modifications of P53 to inhibit apoptosis
Elife. 2021 Dec 17;10:e70046. doi: 10.7554/eLife.70046.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 12:30pm


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Darlene White

Conditions & Recovery

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Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.