Use of C. elegans to model human movement disorders

Chapter

Abstract

  • The recent completion of the human genome sequence not only represents a most significant milestone for the species and the science of biology but also is a scientific cornerstone in biomedical foundation for understanding the molecular basis of inherited disorders. As disease susceptibility is further defined by specific changes in DNA via single-nucleotide polymorphisms and with expression changes delineated by microarray analyses, respective genomes with uncharacterized factors can be increasingly marked. These molecular tags for specific characteristics, many of which are linked to poorly understood cellular processes, hasten the need for subsequent discovery. The current and growing challenge to biomedicine lies in determining the functional significance of genetic alterations in the context of both normal and disease mechanisms. In this regard, applying comparative genomics, via simple animal models, toward investigating functional relationships conserved through evolution among organisms represents a rapid route toward a comprehensive understanding of cellular malfunction. C. elegans offers an animal model that is a truly comprehensive approach toward discerning the molecular basis of disease processes. Simultaneously, investigators can apply traditional genetic, modern genomic, and high-throughput chemical screening to this system as a multivariable and inclusive assault on movement disorders. The goal of this research is to find treatments or cures for these disorders. Therefore, along with continuing studies to decipher the molecular mechanisms of these diseases, developing C. elegans based assays for direct screening of small molecules is a worthwhile focus for future studies to increase the pipeline of therapeutic candidates. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9780120883820
  • Start Page

  • 111
  • End Page

  • 126