Although neurodegenerative diseases have been studied for many years, people still can only suppressing instead of completely curing these diseases. Parkinson’s disease affects more than 4 million people worldwide. In the United States, Parkinson’s disease occurs in approximately 13 per 100,000 people, and about 60,000 new cases are identified each year. With more people living longer than before, the number of people who can get this disease is expected to increase in the coming decades.
Parkinsons disease world map-Deaths per million persons-WHO 2012
Parkinson's disease is highly senile, and this disease has seriously threatened the health of elderly people. This disease leads to a gradual loss of physical motor function, lethargy, inconvenience, and slowness of movement. At the same time, patients will also have different degrees of depression and anxiety symptoms. Due to the long course of the disease and the high disability rate, the disease seriously threatens the quality of patients’ life,making it a heavy burden to the patients' families and society.
An example of who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease was Muhammad Ali. He was an American professional boxer. He was widely regarded as the most celebrated sporting figure of the 20th century. However, Ali had died suffering from Parkinson's disease. He was later hospitalized for what was reportedly a respiratory issue, and died when he was 74 years old.
The newly released results of China’s seventh population census showed that China’s population stood at 1.42 billion of which there are 264 million people aged 60 or over (about 20% of the total population), and this number is estimated to become 35% in 2060. Due to the rapid increase in the proportion of the aged population in China, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) are becoming increasingly prevalent, and there is an urgent need for medical treatments that are both effective and affordable for the majority of the aged population. However, the current medication cannot satisfy the demand for most aged population, since it only relieves the symptom and maintains the life quality of the patients to some extent.
Angiogenin, which is made up of 123 amino acids, can be an inducer of neovascularization, and it contributes to cell migration, invasion, vessel elongation, and neuroprotection. It is produced by a spectrum of cell categories, such as the vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, and it can be recognized by the endothelial cells and elicits second messenger systems. It is potent to cure neuro-diseases like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, but it might stimulate the formation of a tumor, which contributes to cancer. Since a lack of angiogenin might promote cell death, a specific dose should be established.
In our project, we aim to create a recombinant E. coli by introducing the plamid pET-28a-rANG that can secret functional ANG protein, which could possibly serve as an in vitro method to massive produce ANG for clinical use. In addition, we will further analysis the activity of the protein as a reference for future application.
In the future applications, the product we get may has two directions of develop, but all in clinical medicine aspect. One is to directly invent a new drug with the protein product of this gene and the other one is to explore its pharmacology regarding the relevant diseases which could be used to develop more new drugs.
The first kind of drug may have effect on adjusting the nerve system, treating diseases like inflammation and the further developed drugs may be a possible treatment of some present incurable disease such as PD and tumor. However, the over use of ANG will also overpromote the generation of endothelial cells and vessels and may even cause cancer in some situation, so the correct usage of this drug shall be also necessary for being studied.
Though our work might be far from enough to solve these big issues currently, it means a lot for us to devote to the experiments and research, focus on the real issue and contribute to the society by starting off a basic research in developing new drugs meantime promoting public awareness of the diseases. We hope our project could bring some lights to the treatment of those diseases like PD in the future.
1. World Health Organization Estimated Deaths 2012. http://www.who.int/entity/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GHE_Deaths_2012_country.xls?ua=1
2. Biography.com Editors. (2017, April 28). Muhammad Ali. Biography. https://www.biography.com/athlete/muhammad-ali
3. Parkinson disease: MedlinePlus genetics. (n.d.). MedlinePlus-Health Information from the National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/parkinson-disease/
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