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 © 2011 The University of Iowa. All Rights Reserved.