Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Emory scientists contribute to study of key regulatory protein in neurodegeneration

31.07.2003


A multi-institutional team of scientists has gained important new knowledge about the regulatory role played in Alzheimer’s disease by Pin1, a protein that coaxes other proteins into untwisting. The research is published in the July 31 issue of Nature.

The team of researchers, including a group from the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University School of Medicine, examined slices of brain and found an inverse relationship between the abundance of Pin1 and both the susceptibility of neurons to degenerative damage and the amount of protein tangles. They also found that mice with an artificial disruption of Pin1 develop a neurodegenerative disease that resembles Alzheimer’s.

Lead authors are Drs. Yih-cherng Liou, Anyang Sun, and Kun Ping Lu from Harvard Medical School. Xiaojiang Li, PhD and Zhao-Xue Yu, PhD from Emory School of Medicine studied the degeneration in the brains of Pin1-deficient mice using electron microscopy and immunogold staining. Scientists from the University of Kentucky, the Salk Institute, and Tufts University also contributed to the study.


Scientists studying Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases resemble detectives poring over a crime scene in a mystery novel. They have identified a couple of suspicious individuals––proteins that form disruptive tangles and knots in the brain. The detectives can piece together how the crime was committed, but they still have questions about some characters standing in the shadows. They want to know not only how, but why.

In Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and tau form aggregated tangles in the brain: APP outside and between cells, tau within the neurons. "It is clear that both proteins play a role in the Alzheimer’s disease mechanism, but there is some disagreement about which one is more important," says Dr. Li.

Pin1, part of a class of enzymes called prolyl isomerases, is known to regulate many proteins critical for cell division. Pin1 twists the joints of proteins in specific creaky places, allowing them to change shape. However, it previously was unclear whether Pin1 helped to promote or prevent tangles. Dr. Lu’s laboratory at Harvard had the opportunity to examine the situation in the living brain using Pin1-deficient mice. They had previously found that Pin1 is necessary for proper development of the retina and mammary glands.

Dr. Li’s group joined the effort to analyze the Pin1-deficient brains in a way that was complementary to the biochemical methods used by the Harvard group. They found that the Pin-1-negative mice had degenerating neurons similar to those in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Li says it is also important to investigate the connection between Pin1 and APP, which clogs up the brain outside the neurons in Alzheimer’s disease. "The access of many enzymes to tau and APP could be regulated by Pin1," he says. "And Pin1 regulates many proteins, not just tau and APP. This research is really at the crossroads." Dr. Li hypothesizes that Pin1 loss of function could contribute to other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington disease.

Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu

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

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>