Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Cross-species drug screening for sarcopenia

Tang Hong-Wen | Duke-NUS Medical School
Competition Sponsor: Ministry of Health and National Research Foundation of Singapore
Awardee year: 2022


Sarcopenia, as characterized by the progressive decline in muscle mass, function and quality, commonly occurs with aging and is associated with increased risks of falls, morbidity, and mortality. Increased aging populations, coupled with the adverse effects of sarcopenia, further underscores the importance of identifying therapeutics to prevent muscle weakness. Age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength is associated with the progressive accumulation of protein aggregates, and alleviation of protein aggregates has been shown to improve lifespan. To identify potential inhibitors against sarcopenia in vivo, we will 1.) screen compounds with therapeutic potential in sarcopenia by using the Drosophila as an in vivo drug screening tool, followed by verifications in mice; and 2.) functionally characterize the effect of candidate drugs in mice. Our results will establish a new drug screening platform for sarcopenia combining two model systems, Drosophila and mice. Drosophila is an efficient and effective animal model for large-scale drug screens. Subsequent verification and characterization in mice and mouse myocytes can further confirm that the candidate drugs apply to mammals. Together, our cross-species drug screening approach will provide a genetic and mechanistic basis for sarcopenia and contribute to an effective treatment for sarcopenia patients.

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