Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discover how neuroglobin protects against Alzheimer's

03.08.2010
A team of scientists at the University of California, Davis and the University of Auckland has discovered that neuroglobin may protect against Alzheimer's disease by preventing brain neurons from dying in response to natural stress. The team published the results of their study in the April, 2010 issue of Apoptosis.

Scientists have learned that neuroglobin protects cells from stroke damage, amyloid toxicity and injury due to lack of oxygen. Neuroglobin occurs in various regions of the brain and at particularly high levels in brain cells called neurons. Scientists have associated low levels of neuroglobin in brain neurons with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Recent studies have hinted that neuroglobin protects cells by maintaining the function of mitochondria and regulating the concentration of important chemicals in the cell. However, the exact mechanisms by which neuroglobin protects cells from dying a natural death has, until now, remained unclear.

The lead author of the study, UC Davis biomedical engineering professor Subhadip Raychaudhuri, found that neuroglobin preserves the functioning of a cell's mitochondria by neutralizing a molecule necessary for the formation of a type of protein that triggers the cell's collapse. The scientists think that the fundamental role of neuroglobin found in neurons is to prevent accidental cell death from occurring due to stress associated with normal cell functioning. Cells may protect themselves from triggering the chain of events leading to cell death by expressing a high level of neuroglobin.

Mitochondria are tiny "capsules" within a cell that make most of the raw material the cell uses to produce its energy. Mitochondria also play important roles in communication within and between cells and important aspects of cell differentiation and growth. A cell dies quickly when its mitochondria stop functioning. Various kinds of stressors, such as lack of oxygen, low nutrient levels, increased calcium levels or presence of toxic substances can cause mitochondria to rupture and emit a molecule called cytochrome c. Cytochrome c binds with other molecules outside the mitochondria to form a protein called an apoptosome. The apoptosome helps build an enzyme that degrades and eventually collapses the cell. Neural cells can survive damage to the mitochondria if apoptosomes do not form.

For their study, the researchers developed predictions from computational modeling and validated them with biological experiments. They found that neuroglobin binds to cytochrome c and prevents it from forming an apoptosome. This finding could offer new approaches to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In Alzheimer's disease, a toxic type of protein accumulates in brain neurons and leads to mitochondrial rupture and cell death. The finding suggests that high neuroglobin levels may buffer neurons against the effect of this protein by preventing apoptosomes from forming.

"Our discovery could lead to treatment of any neurodegenerative processes related to natural cell death. That might include patients suffering from stroke, in addition to Alzheimer's," Prof. Raychaudhuri said.

"Neuroglobin protects nerve cells from apoptosis by inhibiting the intrinsic pathway of cell death,"Subhadip Raychaudhuri, Joanna Skommer, Kristen Henty, Nigel Birch and Thomas Brittain Apoptosis Volume 15, Number 4 / April, 2010 DOI: 10.1007/s10495-009-0436-5

Holly Ober | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdavis.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3-D printed plastic pieces

27.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Move over, Superman! NIST method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion

27.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>