Retrieved on March 10, 2011 from:


Our research interests include an evaluation of the neurotoxic effects aluminum on CNS and brain-specific gene expression, including the control of chromatin structure, the influence of epigenetic and ancillary chromatin modifications that include methylation, phosphorylation and acetylation, factors involving the initiation and rate of RNA transcript synthesis and the processing, transport, stability, longevity and targeting of DNA transcription products in the normally aging human brain and in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Aluminum can perturb the genetic integrity of the CNS in mammals and humans and in many experimental systems both in vitro and in vivo. We have shown that the deleterious effects of aluminum on gene activity can be compartmentalized to active chromatin subfractions. Gene expression at the level of RNA message transcription appears to represent one prominent target for aluminum genotoxicity leading to an impairment in the ability of RNA polymerases and DNA sequences to adequately read out genetic information. For example, results from our laboratory have indicated that in experimental aluminum encephalopathy (EAE) and AD there occurs a marked deficit in the transcription of the single-copy, neuron-specific neurofilament light (NFL) chain gene whose gene product supplies a critical component of both the axonal architecture and the shape of the neuron.


For further information:

Dr. Walter J. Lukiw, Ph.D.,
LSU Neuroscience Center and Department of Ophthalmology
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
2020 Gravier Street, Suite 8B8
New Orleans LA 70112-2272

TEL (504) 599-0842
FAX (504) 599-0891
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