Chonticha Saisawang, Ph.D.
|Ph.D. (Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering), Mahidol University, 2012
Field of Research:Molecular biology and enzymology
Our current research focuses on one of the post-translational modifications of proteins called S-glutathionylation. Parkinson’s disease (PD)is a chronically progressive, age-related neurodegenerative disease. In most cases the disease is sporadic as well multifactorial, but genetically inherited cases also exist. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are two of the main factors that constitute key pathogenic events of this disorder.Moreover environmental factors, such as MPP+ and the herbicide paraquat, have been reported to induce degeneration of the neuron by inhibiting mitochondrial complex I of the respiratory chain and subsequently increasing oxidative stress. The S-glutathionylation events are cellular responses attempting to cope with the deleterious conditions of oxidative stress. However it remains unclear whether the S-glutathionylation events that occur in mitochondria helps protect the cell. Therefore our research interest is to study the role of the attenuation of mitochondrial proteins by S-glutathionylation during oxidative stress, and the interplay between these simultaneous cellular events induced by two neurodegenerative agents; MPP+ and the herbicide paraquat. The identification of the S-glutathionylated mitochondrial proteins would give us insight into the cellular response mechanisms which may eventually be translated into novel neuroprotective approaches. Today’s medical therapies can only focus on symptomatic relief, and there is a great need to identify new therapeutic targets for improved clinical performance towards the prevention and treatment of PD.
1. Wongtrakul, J., Janphen, K., Saisawang, C. and Ketterman, A.J. (2014) Interaction of Omega, Sigma and Theta Glutathione Transferases with p38b MAP Kinase Protein from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. J. Insect Sci. 14, 60.
2. Saisawang, C., Wongsantichon, J. andKetterman, A.J. (2012) A preliminary characterization of the cytosolic glutathione transferase proteome from Drosophilamelanogaster. Biochem. J. 442, 181-190.
3. Wongtrakul, J., Sukittikula, S., Saisawang, C. and Ketterman, A.J. (2012) Mitogen-activated Protein (MAP) Kinase p38b Interaction with Delta Class Glutathione Transferases from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. J. Insect Sci. 12, 107.
4. Ketterman, A.J., Saisawang, C. and Wongsantichon, J. (2011) Insect glutathione transferases. Drug Metab Rev43, 253-265.