Yeast System for Identification of Neuroprotective Small Molecules and Genes
The development of new treatments for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases has been limited by appropriate systems in which to screen drugs and assay their effectiveness. Potential therapeutics can be tested in animal models, but is unacceptable and impractical to use for screening compounds. Conversely, assays using neuronal cell culture provide opportunities for high throughput screening (HTS), but healthy neuronal cultures are difficult to maintain. Our model system utilizes S. pombe yeast cells, which is more robust than neuronal cell culture and amenable to HTS. The inventors have demonstrated that the model system is useful for identifying genes that are related to known PD affected kinases.