Researchers have identified potential new approaches for tackling devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease.
Led by the University of Leicester, scientists from the University of Lisbon and University of California at San Francisco collaborated to raise hope for new ways of treating the diseases.
Working simply with baker's yeast, the team examined aspects of Huntington's disease.
They found that many of the protective genes are involved in translation - a cellular process in which messenger RNA (mRNA) is decoded by the ribosome to produce specific proteins.
This is particularly intriguing as this process has not been implicated in Huntington's disease in the past.
This is important because recent work indicates that pharmacological modulation of translation may represent a promising avenue for treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Therefore, this new research strongly dovetails with these observations and suggests that similar drug treatment may be beneficial in Huntington's disease.
"Our research has taken advantage of cutting edge genomics approaches using a simple model organism to identify a novel area for potential therapeutic intervention for Huntington's disease," said Flaviano Giorgini, lead author of the study.
"If our findings are validated by further studies, it might suggest a novel therapeutic approach for this devastating disorder - which is critical as currently there are no treatments for onset or progression of symptoms," Giorgini added.
The study is published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.