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 Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>