Alzheimer's brains found to have lower levels of key protein
Researchers have found that a protein variation linked by some genetic studies to Alzheimer's disease is consistently present in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. In further biochemical and cell culture investigations, they have shown that this protein, known as ubiquilin-1, performs a critical Alzheimer's-related function: it "chaperones" the formation of amyloid precursor protein, a molecule whose malformation has been directly tied to Alzheimer's pathology.
"What we saw here is that in all 20 of the Alzheimer's brains we examined the ubiquilin-1 protein level was lower, and that's completely new," said University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston assistant professor José Barral, co-author of a paper on the study now online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "Our experiments looked at the consequences of decreased ubiquilin-1, and showed that it's necessary for the proper handling of amyloid precursor protein."
APP has been a major focus of Alzheimer's investigators for almost two decades, ever since scientists identified it as the source of so-called "protein plaques," abnormal aggregations of proteins nearly always found in the brains of Alzheimer's victims. Ubiquilin-1's significance was revealed after the UTMB researchers established ubiquilin-1's status as a chaperone protein for APP.
In the origami-like folding process by which proteins arrive at their proper shape, chaperone proteins act as, well, chaperones: they bind to their client proteins and make sure they don't misbehave.
The kind of APP misbehavior Alzheimer's researchers are most concerned about is the formation of toxic aggregations of the protein or its breakdown products, both inside and outside brain cells. Through a series of biochemical and cell-culture experiments, the UTMB team was able to show that ubiquilin-1 decreased this aggregation.
"Ubiquilin-1 prevents the APP molecule from falling into a conformation it's not supposed to be in," said UTMB associate professor Darren Boehning, co-author of the Journal of Biological Chemistry paper. "This fits with a theme we're seeing across the neurodegenerative disorders and the disorders of aging - the idea that many of these disorders are associated with decreased quality control by chaperones."
Provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
- New approach to Alzheimer's therapy Jul 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Road block as a new strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer's Aug 22, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists find new cause of Alzheimer's Apr 19, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- How neuronal activity leads to Alzheimer's protein cleavage Oct 20, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- New key factor identified in the development of Alzheimer's disease Jan 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
By discovering the new mechanism by which estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis in the liver, UC Irvine endocrinologists have revealed a potential new approach toward treating certain liver diseases.
Medical research May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Aortic arch pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, is a strong independent predictor of disease of the vessels that supply blood to the brain, according to a new study published in the June issue the journal ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Since the discovery of Prontosil in 1932, sulfonamide antibiotics have been used to combat a wide spectrum of bacterial infections, from acne to chlamydia and pneumonia. However, their side effects can include serious neurological ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Spanish researchers have discovered that the daily clearance of neutrophils from the body stimulates the release of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, according to a report published today ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 4
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
22 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 3 |
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
19 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
22 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0