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Professor Harvey McMahon from MRC visits IBP

Updated: 2019-04-22

On April 9, Prof. Harvey McMahon from Medical Research Council UK visited Institute of Biophysics, CAS, at the invitation of Professor Hu Junjie of the National Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, and gave a lecture entitled "Membrane curvature and Parkinson's disease".

Membrane architectures and dynamics are of great importance. Prof. McMahon's lab has long been dedicated to the studies of regulation of membrane structure, such as endocytosis and exocytosis. The regulation of these morphologies can be described by biophysical characteristics. Prof. McMahon's team found that proteins with amphipathic helical or hydrophobic insertion loops may affect or respond to curvature, including proteins of the BAR superfamily. These proteins play important roles insynaptic transmission in nerve cells.

In this lecture, Prof. McMahon highlights the impact of disruption of the mitochondrial quality control pathway on Parkinson's disease. The function of α-synuclein protein in healthy brains is still unclear, however researchers of Parkinson's disease are very interested in it because it is the main component of lewy body, the pathological marker of Parkinson's disease. Since its discovery, α-synuclein has been the focus of research of Parkinson's disease. However, whether and how α-synuclein functions in Parkinson's disease are still elusive. Prof. McMahon's laboratory found that in the cells of the Parkinson's disease model, α-synuclein can be recruited to the mitochondria through VAPA/B and Cardiolipin, resulting in abnormal oxidative capacity of mitochondria.These findings offer a new direction for study and treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Prof. McMahon's lecture was informative and impressive. Teachers and students asked many interesting questions. McMahon patiently answers the questions and conducts in-depth discussions and exchanges on the frontiers of the field. The academic atmosphere of the entire venue was rich and the audience was well rewarded.

Prof. Harvey McMahon is giving the lecture

Prof. Hu Junjie and Prof. Harvey McMahon


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