Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Common Lab Dye Is a Wonder Drug – for Worms

01.04.2011
Basic Yellow 1, a dye used in neuroscience laboratories around the world to detect damaged protein in Alzheimer’s disease, is a wonder drug for nematode worms.

In a study appearing in the March 30, online edition of Nature, the dye, also known as Thioflavin T, (ThT) extended lifespan in healthy nematode worms by more than 50 percent and slowed the disease process in worms bred to mimic aspects of Alzheimer’s. The research, conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, could open new ways to intervene in aging and age-related disease.

The study highlights a process called protein homeostasis – the ability of an organism to maintain the proper structure and balance of its proteins, which are the building blocks of life. Genetic studies have long indicated that protein homeostasis is a major contributor to longevity in complex animals. Many degenerative diseases have been linked to a breakdown in the process. Buck faculty member Gordon Lithgow, PhD, who led the research, said this study points to the use of compounds to support protein homeostasis, something that ThT, did as the worms aged.

ThT works as a marker of neurodegenerative diseases because it binds amyloid plaques – the toxic aggregated protein fragments associated with Alzheimer’s. In the nematodes ThT’s ability to not only bind, but also slow the clumping of toxic protein fragments, may be key to the compound’s ability to extend lifespan, according to Lithgow. “We have been looking for compounds that slow aging for more than ten years and ThT is the best we have seen so far,” said Lithgow. “But more exciting is the discovery that ThT so dramatically improves nematode models of disease-related pathology as well,” said Lithgow, who said the discovery brings together three crucial concepts in the search for compounds that could extend healthspan, the healthy years of life. “ThT allows us to manipulate the aging process, it has the potential to be active in multiple disease states and it enhances the animal’s innate ability to deal with changes in its proteins.”

The research was the brainchild of Silvestre Alavez, PhD, a staff scientist in the Lithgow lab. Alavez was trained in neuroscience and knew about the use of these compounds to detect disease-related proteins. With the idea that small molecules could impact protein aggregation, he looked at 10 compounds and found five that were effective in increasing lifespan in the worms. Alavez said curcumin, the active ingredient in the popular Indian spice turmeric, also had a significant positive impact on both healthy worms and those bred to express a gene associated with Alzheimer’s. “People have been making claims about the health benefits of curcumin for many years. Maybe slowing aging is part of its mechanism of action,” said Alavez. Curcumin is currently being tested in several human clinical trials for conditions ranging from colon cancer to rheumatoid arthritis to depression. Alavez says the study supports the concept that protein homeostasis should be the focus of future research. “We now have an exciting new avenue in the search for compounds that both extend lifespan and slow disease processes,” said Alavez. “Any small molecule that maintains protein homeostasis during aging could be active against multiple disease states.” Follow up research on ThT is now underway in mice bred to have Alzheimer’s.

Contributors to the work:
Other Buck Institute researchers involved in the study include Maithili C. Vantipalli; Ida M. Klang, a graduate student from the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, Sweden; and David Zucker, a student from Dominican University, CA. The work was supported by grants from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation; the National Institutes of Health supporting the Buck Institute’s Interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Geroscience; the National Institute on Aging (through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009); and the Longevity Consortium.
About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging:
The Buck Institute is the first freestanding institute in the United States that is devoted solely to basic research on aging and age-associated disease. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to extending the healthspan, the healthy years of each individual’s life. Buck Institute scientists work in an innovative, interdisciplinary setting to understand the mechanisms of aging and to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Collaborative research at the Institute is supported by new developments in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics technology. For more information: www.buckinstitute.org.

Kris Rebillot | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.buckinstitute.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>