Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Linking 2 molecular pieces of the Alzheimer's puzzle

05.10.2007
Researchers have uncovered a biological link between the protein whose mutation causes early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and a gene variant linked to late-onset AD. The researchers said their finding could lead to new approaches to treating AD.

Guojun Bu and colleagues published their findings in the October 4, 2007 issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

In their studies, the researchers sought to link the function of two known causative factors in AD—amyloid precursor protein (APP) and a particular form of the gene for the protein apolipoprotein E (apoE) that has been linked to higher late-onset AD risk.

Mutations in APP are known to cause early-onset AD when cleavage of the protein produces a short toxic protein called Aâ peptide that builds up in the brain, killing brain cells.

... more about:
»APP »apoE »cause »cholesterol »function

And a specific variant of the gene for apoE, which produces a version called apoE4, has been linked to late-onset AD, although how this predisposes individuals to the disease is largely unknown. However, the normal function of the apoE protein is known. It carries cholesterol and other lipids into nerve cells, where they act as essential building blocks for neuronal membranes.

In their experiments with mice and cultured mouse cells, the researchers linked APP to the regulation of apoE and its cholesterol transport function. Specifically, they found that the normal cleavage of APP in the cell gives rise to a nontoxic fragment (called AICD) that suppresses the gene that produces the cell receptor for apoE—called LRP1. This receptor, which nestles in the membrane of nerve cells, enables the apoE protein to transport its cholesterol cargo into the cell.

The researchers speculated that the loss of LRP1 function in AD might cause a loss of cholesterol that causes malfunction of neurons. Thus, they suggested that treatments to restore the activity of the receptor gene might be a useful treatment strategy for AD. One such treatment, they said, consists of drugs that inhibit the enzyme that cleaves APP to produce the regulatory protein fragment that suppresses the LRP1 gene.

The researchers concluded that “Our results provide important insights into APP biological function and its potential implications for neuronal dysfunction in AD and may lead to the design of better therapeutic strategies to treat this devastating disease.”

Nancy Wampler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.neuron.org

Further reports about: APP apoE cause cholesterol function

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
13.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
13.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>