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1. Targeting androgen signalling for mitochondria protection in PFS (George Barreto, University of Limerick, Ireland)
Status: awaiting funding
George Barreto is a neuroscientist at the University of Limerick, Ireland. His research focus is the investigation of how sexual hormone deprivation affects the brain – especially the mitochondria.
After completing his Ph.D. in neuroscience George Barreto spent his post-doc training at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a lecturer in Cell Biology/Immunology and serves as editor of several impactful scientific journals. George Barreto is involved in drug development and has co-authored publications together with the PFS lead researchers Roberto Melcangi.
Description of the project:
The androgen receptor (AR) has a mitochondrial localization sequence that, once bound to androgen, is internalised to this organelle, and regulates a great variety of functions ranging from cellular metabolism to oxidative phosphorylation by promoting the transcription of mitochondrial proteins related to respiratory complexes. Any interference on the way androgens effect mitochondria may provoke devastating consequences on how this organelle processes energy substrates for ATP production. Considering these non-genomic actions of AR over mitochondria and the fact that PFS is characterized by an alteration of androgen metabolism, this likely affects mitochondria causing their dysfunction which may lead to apoptosis, dampened fatty acid metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation, augmented reactive oxidative stress (ROS), and, ultimately, promoting a pro-inflammatory environment that may endanger brain cells.