Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain ‘trick’ offers treatment hope for Alzheimer’s

03.07.2008
Scientists in the UK and Canada have made a significant step forward in the search for new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

An ageing population means that neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the major health problems in the developed world. But researchers at the University of York and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, have designed an enzyme inhibitor which could ‘trick’ the brain and so help to halt neurodegeneration.

The research is published in the latest issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

One of the causes of neurodegeneration is a modification to the protein ‘tau’, which helps to maintain the stability of neurones in the brain, causing them to form aggregates termed ‘tangles’.

... more about:
»Alzheimer »Tau »enzyme

These diseases, or ‘tauopathies’ are believed to be caused by a form of the protein tau which has been excessively modified with phosphate.

By studying the chemistry and structure of relevant enzymes, the research teams at York, led by Professor Gideon Davies, and Simon Fraser, led by Professor David Vocadlo, have designed an enzyme inhibitor that prevents the phosphorylation of tau in animal models. They have effectively tricked the brain’s own enzymes into installing a sugar on to tau in place of the detrimental phosphates.

The enzyme inhibitor, termed a ‘thiazoline’, developed by Professor Vocadlo and Professor Davies is not yet a drug, but it is a major breakthrough in finding compounds that cross the blood-brain barrier to elicit beneficial effects that prevent the onset of tauopathies.

Professor Davies, of the Department of Chemistry at York, said: “We hope that the work will evolve into new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, although that is still many years off. The work highlights the synergy of studying the chemistry of enzymes in living cells.”

The York /Simon Fraser collaboration also revealed the first structure of the enzyme responsible for the installation of these protective sugars in a paper in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology earlier this month.

David Garner | alfa
Further information:
http://www.york.ac.uk
http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/presspr/pressreleases/alzheimersresearch.htm

Further reports about: Alzheimer Tau enzyme

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Plankton swim against the current
12.12.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

nachricht To differentiate or not to differentiate?
12.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>