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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>