Recent insights of Prof. Anna von Mikecz, scientist at the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, shed new light on the development of protein aggregating diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.
Anna von Mikecz, leader of the IUF group Influence of xenobiotics on the cell nucleus, focuses her research on the functional role of clumped, i.e. aggregated, proteins, also called amyloid, in the cell nucleus. As reported in her new scientific paper*, amyloid occurs also in healthy human cells and nuclei, and plays probably an important functional role.
Amyloids are formed by fibrillation of proteins. The main focus in the field of pharmacology lays on the pathological aspects of amyloids and countermeasures against neurodegenerative diseases today aim at the prevention of amyloid formation.
Prof. von Mikecz comments the assumption that amyloid formation is in general adverse, as follows: “This hypothesis is currently discussed controversially among scientists and it is becoming increasingly clear that we do not yet understand the molecular mechanisms of amyloid formation in the cell well enough.”A better understanding of the physiological and functional role of amyloids in the nucleus is a prerequisite for promising therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative protein deposition diseases.”
The scientist’s results indicate that there is a tipping point for the adverse effect of amyloid in the nucleus, i.e. if a critical amount of amyloid in the nucleus is exceeded, harmful neuro-degenerative effects result.
Her research also shows that the amyloid equilibrium is disbalanced by exposure to xenobiotics such as certain nano-particles and heavy metals. The exposure leads to an increase in the amount of amyloid in the nucleus above the critical amount. This can be observed in vivo in animal studies as well as in vitro in cell cultures.
It is to be expected, that this new concept will facilitate the development of original diagnostic approaches, bring us significantly closer to effective countermeasures and also contribute to understanding the relationship between exposure to xenobiotics and the development of neuro-degenerative diseases.
*Anna von Mikecz (2014). Pathology and function of nuclear amyloid: protein homeostasis matters. Nucleus (open access, June 4th 2014)
Dr. Mardas Daneshian
Dr. Mardas Daneshian | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences