Mentor: Dr. Mariana Rosca
Research: How Does the Redox Enzyme Nicotinamide Nucleotide Transhydrogenase (NNT) Regulate the Function of Cardiac Mitochondria
The purpose of this study is to examine how the enzyme nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (NNT) regulates the function of cardiac mitochondria. Mitochondria is considered “the powerhouse” of the cell. It produces energy through the process of oxidative phosphorylation. NNT is an enzyme located on the mitochondrial inner membrane. Its known function is to protect mitochondrial against oxidative stress, a byproduct of the normal oxidative metabolism. Many conditions including aging, obesity, diabetes and cardiac failure, are associated with decreased function of mitochondria, and this leads to an increased oxidative stress that damages the mitochondria. Therefore, we hypothesize that NNT may be protective against damaging mitochondria in these diseases.