LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second consecutive year, research from the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center has been cited as an “Editors’ Choice” publication in Science Signaling, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation’s leading scientific society.
The work, “Understanding Atrophy,” was cited earlier this month. It comes from research conducted in the lab of Dr. Ashok Kumar, associate professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology at the UofL School of Medicine, and was originally published in the Journal of Cell Biology in December 2010. The lead author is Pradyup Paul, a graduate student in the department.
Each week, the editors of Science Signaling select papers from highly competitive peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Cell Biology, Science, Nature, Cell and others to highlight as “Editors’ Choices.”
This marks the second time work from Kumar’s lab was cited as an “Editor’s Choice.” In 2010, his paper, “TWEAKing Muscle Atrophy,” also originally published in the Journal of Cell Biology in March 2010, obtained similar recognition as an “Editors’ Choice.”
“This is unsolicited recognition of the high quality of work being conducted in our laboratories,” Dr. Fred Roisen, chair of the department, said. “It is doubly gratifying because first, the paper was published in a premiere journal, the Journal of Cell Biology. Then, it was cited by ‘Editors’ Choice’ in the AAAS Science Signaling journal.
“It shows the high caliber of research being conducted in our state at this institution.”
The research cited provides new information on the cellular basis for muscle wasting. In mice studies, the research team found that a protein, known as TRAF6, is activated early on in the process. The researchers successfully blocked TRAF6 activation, leading to a reversal of muscle wasting.
“What is significant is that blocking this protein can be performed irrespective of the cause of muscle wasting,” Kumar said. “The activation of TRAF6 is a central mechanism no matter whether the muscle wasting is caused by diabetes, malnutrition, cancer, denervation or any other cause that we can see.”
“It also is easy to target and has the potential to greatly add to our therapeutic approaches to muscle wasting.”
The research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Louisville Clinical and Translational Science Pilot Grant Program’s Basic Award.