Furthermore, the rare X-linked sideroblastic anemia with cerebellar ataxia is caused by mutation in ABCb7, an ATP-binding cassette transporter of the mitochondrial inner membrane necessary for cytosolic ISC export. ISC are versatile co-factors of proteins involved in electron transport, enzyme catalysis and regulation of gene expression. The synthesis and insertion of ISC into apoproteins involve complex machineries that are still poorly understood in the mammalian cell. The objectives of this proposal are: 1) to elucidate ISC biogenesis and metabolism in the mammalian cell, with an emphasis on the role of frataxin and ABCb7; 2) to better understand the molecular pathways that are involved in neuronal dysfunction due to defects in mitochondrial ISC metabolism. These objectives will be accomplished by a multidisciplinary approach combining molecular and biochemical approaches to study the ISC assembly machineries, bioinformatic and proteomic studies to identify new Fe-S proteins, the development and pathological analysis of animal and cellular models to dissect the molecular mechanisms, and transcriptomic analysis to uncover the common pathways among recessive ataxias. A specific focus of the proposal will be the involvement of DNA damage response pathways in neuronal dysfunction, as several DNA repair enzymes have recently been identified as Fe-S proteins and thus might be directly affected by frataxin and ABCb7 deficiency. This proposal should lead to the identification of different pathways for therapeutic intervention for these devastating disorders.

Project details
Project Acronym: ISCATAXIA
Project Reference: 206634
Start Date: 2008-07-01
Duration: 60 months
Project Cost: 1.45 million euro
Contract Type: ERC Starting Grant
End Date: 2013-06-30
Project Status: Execution
Project Funding: 1.45 million euro

To know more

Record Control Number: 87413
Update Date: 2009-11-24 12:29:04.0


The legacy of Marie Schlau: literature to help cure Friedreich's Ataxia

If you feel like reading an unputdownable novel while collaborating with a just and solidary cause, "The Legacy of Marie Schlau" is your book! 100% of all funds raised will be dedicated to medical research to find a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease that affects mostly young people, shortening their life expectancy and confining them to a wheelchair.

The life of Marie Schlau, a German Jewish girl born in 1833 hides great unsolved mysteries: accidents, disappearances, enigmas, unknown diagnoses, disturbing murders, love, tenderness, greed, lies, death ... alternatively a different story unfolds every time and takes us closer to the present. Thus, there are two parallel stories unravelling, each in a different age and place, which surprisingly converge in a revelatory chapter.

Paperback and Kindle versions for "The legacy of Marie Schlau" available for sale at Amazon now!



Research projects currently being financed by BabelFAmily

Currently, BabelFAmily is financing two promising research projects aimed at finding a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia. Whenever you make a donation to us or purchase a copy of "The legacy of Marie Schlau", this is where all funds raised will be devoted to:

1) Gene Therapy for Friedreich's Ataxia research project:


The project is the result of an initiative of Spanish people affected by this rare disease who are grouped in GENEFA in collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Ataxias and the BabelFAmily. The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), one of the main patients’ associations in the United States now joins the endeavour.

2) Frataxin delivery research project:

The associations of patients and families Babel Family and the Asociación Granadina de la Ataxia de Friedreich (ASOGAF) channel 80,000 euros of their donations (50% from each organisation) into a new 18-month project at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The project specifically aims to complete a step necessary in order to move towards a future frataxin replacement therapy for the brain, where the reduction of this protein causes the most damage in patients with Friedreich’s Ataxia.

The study is headed by Ernest Giralt, head of the Peptides and Proteins Lab, who has many years of experience and is a recognised expert in peptide chemistry and new systems of through which to delivery drugs to the brain, such as peptide shuttles—molecules that have the capacity to carry the drug across the barrier that surrounds and protects the brain. Since the lab started its relation with these patients’ associations in 2013*, it has been developing another two projects into Friedrich’s Ataxia.



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