BCM scientists actually determined which proteins among the list of more than 200 identified at Buck Institute modify the effect of the Huntington’s protein. The Buck Institute is located in Novato, California.
Huntington’s disease is a devastating, fatal neurological disorder that affects an estimated 30,000 Americans. It is dominantly inherited, which means that if a person inherits a single copy of the gene from a parent, that person will develop the disease – usually in middle age. Children born to parents who go on to develop Huntington’s disease have a 50:50 chance of having the disease themselves. Musician Woody Guthrie was among its best known sufferers.
“Many of the proteins that interact with Huntington’s are modulators of its toxicity,” said Dr. Juan Botas, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at BCM and a senior author of the paper. “This could also be a way to look for and identify factors that modulate a number of proteins involved in other neurodegenerative disease.”
Modulating means that the interacting protein affects the deadly symptoms caused by Huntington’s, he said. Some of the interactive proteins might cause a person to develop the disease later; others could actually make the symptoms appear earlier or to be more severe.
“When you tinker with some of these genes, you find that some of them improve the symptoms. These could be potential therapeutic targets,” said Botas. “When you tinker with others, it makes the Huntington’s more aggressive. These might be ones that accelerate the age of disease onset. Not everyone with Huntington’s develops symptoms at the same age.”
Botas and his colleagues used a fruit fly model of Huntington’s to test the proteins’ effects.
The sheer number of proteins identified could open the door to more studies farther down the line, he said.
Graciela Gutierrez | EurekAlert!
Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences