In Oxford, Professor Beeson and his student Mirela Panea are working on the "Super Synapses" project.

In Oxford, Professor Beeson and his student Mirela Panea are working on the "Super Synapses" project. In the last ten years, David Beeson and his team have been studying a protein at the neuromuscular junction called DOK7, which is crucial for maintaining the correct structure for information to be efficiently passed to the muscle. Recently, they were able to show that if abnormally large amounts of the DOK7 protein are produced in muscles it causes the neuromuscular junction to be greatly enlarged and these enlarged or 'super' synapses are very efficient at transferring information. If there was a drug that could increase the amount of DOK7 in the, it would prove highly effective in treating most forms of the genetic myasthenic syndromes and might also be helpful in autoimmune myasthenia. This project is being carried out with another group in Oxford University who have already used a similar strategy to identify drugs that do similar jobs in muscular dystrophy and are already at the clinical trials stage in that disease.


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