Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2013

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Biology: Molecular Biology

Primary Subject Area

Biology, Molecular; Biology, Neuroscience

Keywords

Alzheimer's, Beta, Amyloid, IMR-32, DNA, Methylation, DLX1

Disciplines

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Molecular Biology

Abstract

Available evidence points toward an epigenetic process in Alzheimer’s disease. This thesis describes the research that was done to investigate changes in DNA methylation using an in vitro model of the disease. Although the results indicated no global changes in methylation levels after treating differentiated IMR-32 cells with beta amyloid, there were several regions of the genome that changed their methylation status. Gene ontology studies revealed that these regions are associated with neuronal differentiation and cell fate genes, thus providing a possible model for the contribution of beta amyloid to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This study provides incentive to further study the epigenetic processes in Alzheimer’s disease and explore avenues to reverse such epigenetic changes.

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