An award from the National Institutes of Health’s Micro Mouse Phenotyping Center (MMPC) at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia, will allow Northeast Ohio Medical University researcher Takhar Kasumov, Ph.D, to study the pathogenesis of obesity-associated metabolic diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes – diseases that afflict one-third of the U.S. population.
Dr. Kasumov, an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, said that the award is a pilot grant for the development of new technologies for disease phenotyping in a mouse model, with research applications for a number of metabolic disease states.
“While type 2 diabetes is treatable, to date, no reliable therapies exist for NAFLD, despite it being associated with significant morbidity and mortality. There is growing evidence that the dysfunction of mitochondria (the part of a cell that converts food into energy) plays a crucial role in disease propagation. Our recently funded proposal will develop a stable isotope-coupled mass spectrometry method to understand the link between diet and energy metabolism at the molecular levels,” explains Dr. Kasumov.
“This method will allow us to study the underlying mechanisms of hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction in NAFLD. The method developed in this study can be used in other diseases, including diabetes, neurodegeneration, cancer, etc. In collaboration with NIH we will benchmark this technique for use by other investigators.”
The project is titled “Mitochondrial Acetylome Dynamics in NAFLD Assessed with Heavy Water-based Metabolic Labeling.” Dr. Kasumov notes that his laboratory helped to develop the heavy water-based metabolic labeling approach for global proteome dynamics studies, which are currently used by research labs around the world.