Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fruit flies and test tubes open new window on Alzheimer's disease

16.03.2010
A team of scientists from SLU in Uppsala and University of Cambridge have discovered a molecule that can prevent a toxic protein involved Alzheimer's disease from building up in the brain.

They found that in test tube studies the molecule not only prevents the protein from forming clumps but can also reverse this process. Then, using fruit flies with Alzheimer's disease, they showed that the same molecule effectively "cures" the insects of the disease.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder linked to protein misfolding and aggregation, or clumping. Previous studies in animal models have shown that clumping of a protein known as the Alzheimer beta (A-beta) peptide causes memory impairment and cognitive deficits similar to those in patients with Alzheimer's disease. When these clumps of protein are deposited in the brain they damage neurones (brain cells), although the mechanism involved is still not understood.

The new molecule - designed by scientists in Sweden - is a small protein known as an Affibody (an engineered binding protein). In this new study, researchers at the University of Cambridge and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found that in test-tube experiments this protein binds to the A-beta peptide, preventing it from forming clumps and breaking up any clumps already present.

In a second experiment, they studied the effect of this Affibody in a Drosophila (fruit fly) model of Alzheimer's disease previously developed at Cambridge. Working with fruit flies that develop the fly equivalent of Alzhiemer's because they have been genetically engineered to produce the Abeta protein, they crossed these flies with a second line of flies genetically engineered to produce the Affibody.

They found that offspring - despite producing the A-beta protein - did not develop Alzhiemer's.

"Flies are our first 'biological test bench'for this new type of medicine. We wanted to know if it was at all possible to prevent the effects of the A-beta protein in the brain of a living organism", says Professor Torleif Härd, SLU.

"But the results are positive and we think we now how this molecule can be further developed to function as a medicine, although it is not possible to say how long this will take, or if it is possible to treat patients who have already developed the disease. The next step will be performing tests on mice."

The research will continue in collaboration with KTH and the biotech enterprise Affibody AB, Stockholm. The study is published in PLoS Biology.

More information:Professor Torleif Härd, SLU; torleif.hard@molbio.slu.se, +46-18 471 40 55

Pressofficer Carin Wrange: +46-70 247 84 22; Carin.Wrange@adm.slu.se

Carin Wrange | idw
Further information:
http://www.slu.se
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000334

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

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

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>