Dr. Jonathan Doorn
Participation year
Project title

Dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde ON PROTEINS IN PARKINSONS’S DISEASE


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the loss of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain, which affects millions of Americans. Individuals that suffer from Parkinson’s disease experience resting tremors, stiff muscles and unconscious movements. One factor in the formation of PD includes toxic metabolites of dopamine (DA). DA is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for movement. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) oxidizes DA which results in the formation of toxic DA metabolite3, 4-Dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde acid (DOPAL).MAO is upregulated with age and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) that reduces DOPAL into 3, 4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) is inhibited by oxidative stress. DOPAL is highly reactive with proteins. There is a correlation between PD and organochlorine pesticide, dieldrin, which alters DA metabolism and increases the amount of DOPAL. The experiment examined the reactions between DOPAL and DOPAC to imitate the environment within the brain. NBT staining, which indicates protein-bound catechols, showed that the protein with DOPAL had darker bands, indicating more protein bound catechols. Coomassie blue staining indicated protein engagement aggregation by DOPAL. Tissue homogenate from the cortex of the brains of mice fed varying concentrations of dieldrin was analyzed via SDS-PAGE. This will detect the amount of protein aggregations potentially due to DOPAL reacting proteins. This experiment will aid in understanding DOPAL’s effects on protein aggregation. This could lead to preventing further dopamine loss in PD.

Vanessa  Mackey
Spelman College