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Neuronal Self-Defense: Compensatory Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197590 Year: Pages: 190 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-759-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Abstract

Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the progressive loss of specific populations of neurons with consequent deterioration of brain's function and dramatic impact on human behavior. At present, there are no effective cures for neurodegenerative diseases. Because unambiguous diagnosis is possible only after manifestation of symptoms, when a large proportion of neurons has been already lost, therapies are necessarily confined to alleviation of symptoms. Development of cures halting the disease course is hampered by our rudimentary understanding of the etiopathology. Most neurodegenerative disorders are sporadic and age-related and - even for those of known genetic origin - the mechanisms influencing disease onset and progression have not been fully characterized. The different diseases, however, share important similarities in the mechanisms responsible for neuronal loss, which is caused by a combination of endogenous and exogenous challenges. Trophic deprivation, oxidative stress, accumulation of abnormal protein aggregates, and bioenergetics defects have been described in most, if not all, neurodegenerative disease. To counterbalance these noxious stimuli cells deploy, at least during the initial pathogenic states, intrinsic neuroprotective responses. These are general compensatory mechanisms, common to several neurodegenerative conditions, which reprogram cellular physiology to overcome stress. Adaptation includes strategies to optimize energetic resources, for instance reduction of rRNA synthesis to repress translation, suppression of transcription, and bioenergetics and metabolic redesign. Additional mechanisms include potentiation of antioxidant capacity, induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and activation of protein quality control systems and autophagy. Ineffective execution of these compensatory strategies severely threatens cellular homeostasis and favors onset of pathology. Therefore, a better understanding of these "buffering" mechanisms and of their interconnections may help to devise more effective therapeutic tools to prolong neuronal survival and activity, independently of the original genetic mutations and stress insults. This Research Topic focuses on the initial compensatory responses protecting against failure of those mechanisms that sustain neuronal survival and activity. The collection intends to summarize the state-of-the-art in this field and to propose novel research contributes, with the ultimate goal of inspiring innovative studies aimed to contrast progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Genomics Research on Non-Model Plant Pathogens: Delivering Novel Insights into Rust Fungus Biology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198146 Year: Pages: 166 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-814-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Botany --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Fungi of the order Pucciniales cause rust diseases on many plants including important crops and trees widely used in agriculture, forestry and bioenergy programs; these encompass gymnosperms and angiosperms, monocots and dicots, perennial and annual plant species. These fungi are obligate biotrophs and -except for a few cases- cannot be cultivated outside their hosts in a laboratory. For this reason, standard functional and molecular genetic approaches to study these pathogens are very challenging and the means to study their biology, i.e. how they infect, develop and reproduce on plant hosts, are rather limited, even though they rank among the most devastating pathogens. Among fungal plant pathogens, rust fungi display the most complex lifecycles with up to five different spore forms and for many rust fungi, unrelated alternate hosts on which sexual and clonal reproduction are achieved. The genomics revolution and particularly the application of new generation sequencing technologies have greatly changed the way we now address biological studies and has in particular accelerated and made feasible, molecular studies on non-model species, such as rust fungi. The goal of this research topic is to gather articles that present recent advances in the understanding of rust fungi biology, their complex lifecycles and obligate biotrophic interactions with their hosts, through the means of genomics. This includes genome sequencing and/or resequencing of isolates, RNA-Seq or large-scale transcriptome analyses, genome-scale detailed annotation of gene families, and comparative analyses among the various rust fungi and, where feasible, with other obligate biotrophs or fungi displaying distinct trophic modes. This Research Topic provides a great opportunity to provide an up-to-date account of rust fungus biology through the lens of genomics, including state-of-the-art technologies developed to achieve this knowledge.

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