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
How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH
A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Information Technology
23.06.2017 | Materials Sciences
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy