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University of Kentucky

Medicine and Health Sciences

Theses and Dissertations--Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

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Investigating Therapeutic Options For Lafora Disease Using Structural Biology And Translational Methods, Amanda R. Sherwood Jan 2013

Investigating Therapeutic Options For Lafora Disease Using Structural Biology And Translational Methods, Amanda R. Sherwood

Theses and Dissertations--Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

Lafora disease (LD) is a rare yet invariably fatal form of epilepsy characterized by progressive degeneration of the central nervous and motor systems and accumulation of insoluble glucans within cells. LD results from mutation of either the phosphatase laforin, an enzyme that dephosphorylates cellular glycogen, or the E3 ubiquitin ligase malin, the binding partner of laforin. Currently, there are no therapeutic options for LD, or reported methods by which the specific activity of glucan phosphatases such as laforin can be easily measured. To facilitate our translational studies, we developed an assay with which the glucan phosphatase activity of laforin as ...