Nov. 28, 2016 | UAMS researchers spent an evening discussing structures within the basic unit of all living things, a cell, at the latest wine-and-cheese reception hosted Nov. 9 by the College of Medicine to highlight medical research.

Fourteen projects were featured at the Showcase of Medical Discoveries: Basic Subcellular Mechanisms in the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. About 100 researchers, physicians, staff and students attended the event and learned how DNA, proteins, chemical messengers, enzymes and other specialized parts of the cell can impact our understanding of hypertension, cancer and its treatment, blood clotting and aging diseases.

“It’s always great to have so many wonderful research projects on display,” said Lawrence Cornett, Ph.D., UAMS vice chancellor for research. “Our hope is this showcase creates opportunities for further research and stimulates collaborations among researchers.”

Research led by Fen Xia, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally known radiation oncologist, worked to understand a role an enzyme known as Sirt2 could play in alleviating peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy. The enzyme is used to alleviate neuropathy pain in people with diabetes.

UAMS Showcase of Medical Discoveries

Kevin D. Raney (right), Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Medicine, talks about his team’s research on endogenous DNA and oxidative stress.

Meenakshisundaram Balasubramaniam, a postdoctoral fellow in College of Medicine’s Department of Geriatrics, presented his team’s research on the role of proteins that accumulate, or aggregate, abnormally in the brain and can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s.

“Many aggregate proteins are shared among these diseases, which suggests the aggregation is not random,” said Balasubramaniam. “Our strategy and research has laid the foundation for understanding the aggregate network and the components involved in disturbing the protein’s equilibrium and leading to aggregation.”

This was the 16th in a series created to foster communication and collaboration among UAMS investigators and clinicians. The Showcase of Medical Discoveries is organized by Cornett and supported by UAMS College of Medicine Dean Pope L. Moseley, M.D. It originated from discussions about the faculty’s desire for more opportunities to display their scientific work in a social setting.

Posters at the showcase described the researchers’ work. They were:

New Role of Sirt2 in Alleviating Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

Researchers: Manchao Zhang, Wuying Du, Hao Yu, Shengkai Kin, Ju Huwan, Cho, Parmeet K. Manchada, Rahman Mohammad and Fen Xia

Investigation of Structure-Activity Relationships for Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Human DNA Polymerase eta

Researchers: Maroof K. Zafar, Amit Ketkar, Sarah Eddy, Leena Maddukuri, Narsimha Penthala, Peter A. Crooks and Robert L. Eof

Exposure to Trichloroethylene Alters Epigenetic Profile in CD4+ T Cells

Researchers: Kathleen M. Gilbert, Sarah J. Blossom, Brad Reisfeld, Kanan Vyas, Craig A. Cooney and Sudeepa Bhattacharyya

Platelet Alpha-Granules: One Flavor or Many?

Researchers: Irina Pokrovskaya, Jeffrey Kamykowski, Emma McBride*, Maria Aronova*, Amith Rao*, Richard Leapman* and Brian Storrie

*National Instutite of Health researchers

Lipid Stress Alters Cell Distribution, Traffic, and Desensitization Properties of Melanocortin-4 Receptor, a GPCR Involved in Appetite Control

Researchers: Kimberly A. Cooney, Brent M. Molden and Giulia Baldini

Cigarette Smoking Mediates the Membrane Trafficking of N-Glycan via Serotonin/Adrenalin Signaling Pathways of Platelets

Researchers: Curtis Lee Lowery III, Clay Elliott, Coedy Hadden, James D. Marsh and Fusun Kilic

C/EBP delta-deficient Mice Display Aberrant Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Response that Promotes Radiationinduced Intestinal Injury and Barrier Disruption

Researchers: Sudip Banerjee, Qiang Fu, Sumit K. Shah, Vaibhav D. Aher, Usha Ponnappan, Stepan B. Melnyk, Martin Hauer-Jensen and Snehalata A. Pawar

Doxorubicin Inhibition of Lymphatic Function is Mediated by Ryanodine Receptors and Prevented by Dantrolene

Researchers: Amanda J. Stolarz, Asif R. Pathan, Rachel Versluis, Terry W. Fletcher, Joseph R. Stimers, Mustafa Sarimollaoglu, Ekaterina Galanzha, Vladimir Zharov and Nancy J. Rusch

FoxP3+ T-cells and PD-L1 Highlight Immune-Suppressive Profiles in Vulvar Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Researchers: Emily Holthoff, Thomas Kelly, Charles Quick and Steven Post

Evidence that Endogenous G-quadruplex DNA Mediates Stress Granule Assembly in Response to Oxidative Stress

Researchers: Alicia K. Byrd, Boris L. Zybailov, Leena Maddukuri, Jun Gao, John C. Marecki, Mihir Jaiswal, Matthew R. Bell, Wezley C. Griffin, Megan R. Reed, Shubeena Chib, Samuel G. Mackintosh, Angus M. MacNicol, Giulia Baldini, Robert L. Eoff and Kevin D. Raney

Sc65-null Mice Provide Evidence for a Novel Endoplasmic Reticulum Complex Regulating Collagen Lysyl Hydroxylation

Researchers: Melissa E. Heard, Roberta Besio, MaryAnn Weis, Jyoti Rai, David M. Hudson, Milena Dimori, Sarah M. Zimmerman, Jeffrey A. Kamykowski, William R. Hogue, Frances L. Swain, Marie S. Burdine, Samuel G. Mackintosh, Alan J. Tackett, Larry J. Suva, David R. Eyre and Roy Morello

Novel Mechanism of Salt-sensitive Hypertension: CD8+ T Cells Stimulate Sodium Chloride Co-transporter in Kidney

Researchers: Yunmeng Liu, Tonya M Rafferty, Sung W Rhee, Jessica S Webber, Beixiang He and Shengyu Mu

Increased stability of mitochondrial CYP2E1 against degradation compared to microsomal CYP2E1

Researchers: Jessica H. Hartman, Andres A. Caro, Martin J. Ronis and Grover P. Miller

Protein Aggregates, Proteasomes, and Autophagosomes: Keys to Understanding Neurodegeneration

Researchers: Sundaram Balasubramaniam, Srinivas Ayyadevara and Robert Shmookler Reis