Mike Henderson

Mike Henderson

In collaboration with Yongquan Zhang, I am investigating the cellular mechanism of synapse maintenance in a mouse model of neurodegeneration.  Cysteine string protein alpha (CSPα) is a co-chaperone for heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70) that is involved in changing the conformation of targeted client proteins, and when this protein is knocked out in mice, the result is a progressive neurodegenerative phenotype.  

Recently, mutations human CSPα have been found to segregate with disease in families with adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.  I am using dissociated neuron culture along with various microscopy and biochemical techniques to parse apart the cellular mechanism of neurodegeneration in CSPα KO neurons to determine how CSPα is able to prevent this neurodegeneration.