Fragile X Syndrome and RNAi

With a $75,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation from 2003-2004, Dr. Richard Carthew and his team at Northwestern University studied their interest in gene expression by investigating the role of the recently discovered process of interfering RNA (RNAi). FMRP appears to be involved in the metabolism of RNAi, and may have a role in regulating the process; likewise, deficits in RNAi may contribute to the disease process in Fragile X.

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FMR1 Gene Delivery Using Herpes Simplex Virus Vectors

David Bloom, PhD, at University of Florida, FRAXA research grant

With $89,000 from FRAXA Research Foundation over 2001-2005, Dr. David Bloom investigated gene therapy for Fragile X. The Bloom lab specializes in the development of gene therapy techniques, and they have succeeded in transferring the Fragile X gene (fmr1) into the brains of live mice, using viral vectors. They studied ways to enhance this process, with the ultimate goal of gene therapy for people with Fragile X.

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Understanding the Function of Fragile X Protein in Drosophila

Haruhiko Siomi, PhD, at Tokushima University, FRAXA research grant

With a $105,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation from 2000-2003, Drs. Haruhiko Siomi and Mikko Siomi at Tokushima University researched approaches to characterize the Drosophila homolog of FMR1 and its associated molecules, and to identify molecular pathways that are involved in the cellular processes which are affected by the loss-of-function of Drosophila FMR1.

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