Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Short sugar chains-­a future drug for Alzheimer’s?

20.04.2005


Heparansulfate, which is needed for normal fetal development among other things, is also important for the build-up of amyloid, morbid protein deposits that appear in several serious diseases. This is shown by Uppsala scientists in an article published in today’s Net edition of the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.



Heparansulfate, long chains of sugar molecules, is produced by most cells in the body. It was not previously known that heparansulfate is necessary for the occurrence of amyloid, abnormal protein deposits in the body. Amyloid appears in several grave disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, mad-cow disease, old-age diabetes, and so-called AA amyloidosis, which often develops in chronic inflammatory diseases.

The research team is headed by Professor Ulf Lindahl and Associate Professor Jin-ping Li at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala University. They have studied how heparansulfate binds the abnormal protein molecules and thereby triggers amyloid deposits. In experiments the researchers have used genetically altered mice that produce much higher than normal amounts of the enzyme heparanase. This enzyme cuts the normal-length heparansulfate chain into short segments. Both the genetically altered and the normal control mice were stimulated with a treatment that usually leads to rapid build-up of amyloid (AA amyloidosis) in several internal organs, including the liver, the kidneys, and the spleen. The heparanase-producing mice proved to be completely resistant to amyloidosis of the liver and kidneys, organs with pronounced overproduction of the enzyme and therefore very short heparansulfate fragments. On the other hand, they did develop amyloid in the spleen, which had avoided overproduction of heparanase and therefore contained normal size heparansulfate. The control mice developed amyloidosis of the spleen and of the liver and kidneys. The findings indicate that the occurrence of normal size heparansulfate is a precondition for the development of AA amyloidosis. Since accumulations of heparansulfate also occur in other types of amyloid deposits, the researchers conclude that the connection is generally valid.


“The findings provide hope that short segments of sugar chains will be useful in drugs for Alzheimer’s and other amyloid disorders in the future. But first such compounds need to be carefully tested in test tubes and then assessed in comprehensive animal experiments. Only then will it be possible to introduce testing in patients,” says Professor Ulf Lindahl.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>