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!
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences