Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Influence of oxidative stress on transcription and alternative splicing of methionine synthase in autism  

Many cases of autism are thought to develop due to environmental exposures acting on genetically vulnerable individuals. Potential environmental exposures encompass all non-genetic factors that might contribute to autism. These toxins are thought to impair biochemical or metabolic processes which are critical for normal development and normal cognitive function. Most of these toxins are thought to cause oxidative stress and inflammation, and studies of autistic children have shown evidence of these processes in their blood and brains. In this study, the predoctoral fellow will investigate the link between oxidative stress and metabolism in a system related to neuronal function. The vitamin B12-dependent enzyme methionine synthase is a metabolic protein that is extremely sensitive to environmental toxins, and levels of this enzyme have been found to be reduced in postmortem autistic brains. To determine whether the changes observed in brain samples can be detected non-invasively in patients, blood samples from autistic and control subjects will be analyzed for methionine synthase levels. This could prove to be a valuable blood test in the diagnosis of autism. As well, biochemical and cellular experiments will be conducted to investigate the mechanisms by which oxidative stress affects the level and functional properties of methionine synthase. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $28,000.00
Current Award Period 2008-2010
Project Number 4806
Principal Investigator Muratore, Christina
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Immune/Metabolic Pathways
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Northeastern University
State/Country Massachusetts
Web Link 1 Influence of oxidative stress on transcription and alternative splicing of methionine synthase in autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Influence of oxidative stress on transcription and alternative splicing of methionine synthase in autism | $0.00 | 2009 | 4806
Influence of oxidative stress on transcription and alternative splicing of methionine synthase in autism | $28,000.00 | 2008 | 4806