Speaker: Dr. Hee-Yong Kim, Chief, Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Signaling, NIAAA,NIH
Topic: Role of Mass Spectrometry in Unveiling Neurotrophic Mechanisms of Docosahexaenoic Acid
Date: Monday, March 19, 2012
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Shimadzu Scientific Instrument, Inc. Training Center 7100 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (Directions)
Dinner: Please join the speaker and the co-chairs for dinner at the Ram’s Head Tavern at Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD 20763 at 5:30 pm. Contact Shelley Jackson (Shelley.Jackson@nih.hhs.gov) to let him know you will be there for dinner.
Abstract: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) is particularly enriched in neuronal tissues mainly as membrane phospholipids. Maintenance of a high DHA concentration in brain is essential for proper neurodevelopment and function, indicating an important neurotrophic role played by this fatty acid. Mass spectrometry has been an essential tool for studying molecular and signaling mechanisms underlying DHA-mediated neurotrophic effects. DHA promotes neuronal survival primarily due to its unique property to increase phosphatidylserine (PS), the major anionic phospholipid in neuronal membranes. Membrane translocation and activation of key kinases such as Raf, PKC and Akt is PS-dependent, providing a target for DHA-mediated neuroprotection. DHA is also metabolized to a potent synaptogenic compound synaptamide (N-docosahexaenoylethanoamide), promoting neurite growth, synaptogenesis and synaptic protein expression and improving glutamatergic synaptic function in developing neurons. Role of mass spectrometry in probing the membrane phospholipid profile, lipid metabolism, protein conformational changes due to membrane-protein interaction, and protein expression will be discussed.