Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

TANGO - towards faster prognosis of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases?

13.09.2004


A large number of diseases − including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and mad cow disease − are the result of proteins that erroneously assume the wrong shape, causing them to stick to each other. This phenomenon is perceptible, but up to now it has been difficult to predict. Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), in collaboration with a German research group, have developed TANGO − a statistical method that can predict the susceptibility of proteins to sticking together. Thus, for the first time, TANGO enables the prediction of risky protein alterations that underlie this group of diseases.

When protein structure goes awry

All living creatures, including humans, are made up of cells, and the vital functions within these cells are executed by proteins. The hereditary information for the production of proteins − including, among other things, their structure and length − is contained in our genes. But in order to be able to function properly, a protein must also fold itself correctly into its 3-dimensional structure. Sometimes this goes wrong and the proteins stick together, making them toxic and causing diseases like Alzheimer’s.



TANGO makes prediction of faulty protein structures possible

Until recently, it was always thought that proteins stick together arbitrarily. But now it has become clear that a universal mechanism lies behind this process. Certain structural characteristics in proteins determine their susceptibility to sticking together. Using this information, Joost Schymkowitz and Frederic Rousseau have developed TANGO, a mathematical algorithm that looks at a large amount of data − including alterations of the protein and environmental factors − to indicate the degree of probability that particular proteins will stick together.

TANGO thus opens possibilities for new diagnostic techniques for diseases that are caused by proteins that stick together erroneously. The VIB researchers also expect that TANGO will enable more efficient production of proteins for medical or industrial applications. The yield of these production processes is often low, because the proteins stick to each other and are therefore difficult to purify. With TANGO, one can determine under what conditions the solubility of the therapeutic proteins is large enough to purify them easily.

Relevant scientific publications

On 12 September, Schymkowitz and Rousseau’s research was published online on the website of the authoritative journal, Nature Biotechnology (www.nature.com/nbt) Fernandez-Escamilla et al.

Given that this research can raise a lot of questions for patients, we ask you to please refer questions in your report or article to the email address that VIB makes available for this purpose: patienteninfo@vib.be. Everyone can submit questions concerning this and other medically-oriented research directly to VIB via this address.

Ann Van Gysel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>