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.
Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
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