Q&A with Dr. Zhao
Stroke Progress and Innovation Awards 2014
Haiping Zhao, PhD
Haiping Zhao, Rongliang Wang, Zhen Tao, Li Gao, Feng Yan, Zhi Gao, Xiangrong Liu, Xunming Ji, and Yumin Luo
SPOTLIGHT: Q&A with Dr. Zhao
What is the key take-away message from your article?
TOPK is a new found endogenic neuroprotective kinase in neurons activated by ischemic postconditioning (IPostC) after ischemia/reperfusion, and activated TOPK/Akt pathway–mediated antioxidative effect against ischemia/reperfusion injury.
What prompted you and your co-authors to perform this study?
In our previous gene expression profiles of ipsilateral cortices of sham and tMCAO groups, we found that the mRNA level of TOPK was most significantly elevated among the MAPK family members after 2 h ischemia/24 h reperfusion, indicating that TOPK might play an important role in cerebral ischemia–reperfusion.
Through references, we found that PI3K/Akt signaling pathway was a potential downstream kinase of TOPK. And we know that PI3K/Akt signaling is a classical neuroprotective pathway and is involved in the antioxidative effect of limb remote IPostC. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to identify whether TOPK is another protective early response signal to IPostC, which might activate PI3K/Akt signaling and antioxidative pathways to remove the oxidation products.
What is innovative about this work? And what are its applications?
We found a new endogenic neuroprotective kinase in neurons activated by ischemic postconditioning (IPostC) after ischemia/reperfusion.
Previously, TOPK has been shown to be highly expressed in neural stem cells, and inhibition of TOPK disrupts progenitor self-renewal and proliferation. However, the expression and function of TOPK in mature neuronal cells after cerebral ischemia–reperfusion are still unknown. In this study, we found TOPK was activated by IPostC treatment compared with the single ischemia/reperfusion group, and its antioxidant function was further demonstrated.
I think the applications of this paper include two respects. In one respect, our results suggest that IPostC might be a feasible preventive method for reperfusion injury secondary to revascularization. In another respect, TOPK is a potential target for the development of novel medications to ameliorate ischemic stroke.
Tell us about the biggest challenge you came across while conducting this study.
TOPK is a relatively new kinase, and the commercial relevant reagents like antibody and kinase activity kit are few, which restricted our further research.
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