Research Highlights

One Step Closer to a Cure (2012.3.21)

2012-06-20 1,248

Professor Nam -Ki Lee (i-Bio and Physics) su- cceeded in find- ing the step-by-step processes of neurotransmitt-  ers in the brain cells through the single molecule technique, which had previously been unknown. This principle allows for possibilities to understand the causes of brain cell damage when patients suffer from intractable cerebropathy such as dementia.

Prof. Lee’s research team jointed with Prof. Yeon-kyun Shin (KIST) to discover the fact that synaptotagmin-1, which is protein in biological membrane, controlled fusion of cell membrane in process of releasing chemicals by gradationally converging a certain lipid and protein, named PIP2 and SNARE respectively. This research result is especially meaningful because it successfully brought together the single molecule technique of Physics and cell membrane fusion method in Biology.

Prof. Lee emphasized, “This research finding resulted from looking deep into the neurotransmission process and is expected to clear the precise causes of cerebropathy such as dementia.” The discovery appeared in the March issue of the EMBO journal online.

The research was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and National Research Foundation of Korea.

* The Postech Times : Reporter Park Tae-yoon