Skip to Content
Address: S323 PHAR
Phone: (319) 335-7333
Mentor: Jonathan Doorn, PhD
Undergraduate Institution: Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS, BA
Year Entered Into Program: 2011
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative
disease where neuronal cell death occurs for the dopamine-containing neurons in
the substantia nigra of the brain. Oxidative stress and the production of
reactive oxygen species (ROS) and toxic dopamine metabolites are believed to
contribute to this neurodegeneration. The metabolism of dopamine by monoamine
oxidase produces a highly toxic intermediate, 3, 4- dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde
(DOPAL), and this metabolite is hypothesized to have a role in PD pathogenesis.
Previous work has shown that DOPAL damages neurons through its interactions with
proteins, specifically modification of Lys and Cys residues causing protein
cross-linking. Oxidative stress was found to increase levels of DOPAL due to
inhibition of its detoxication by carbonyl metabolizing enzymes. DOPAL also
undergoes auto-oxidation to a harmful quinone and produces ROS. The reaction of
DOPAL with proteins results in oxidative stress however the mechanism for ROS
generation and the species of ROS has not been identified. My research goal is
to investigate the production of ROS, ROS toxicity, and mechanism of etiology in
regards to PD.
Copyright © 2015 The University of Iowa. All Rights Reserved.