Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Enzyme family plays role in Alzheimer’s

21.06.2005


The route to a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease may have become more straightforward with the discovery that a key enzyme known to have a major role in this disease is in fact part of a family of enzymes. Only some family members play a role in the progression of this brain-wasting illness, new research at the University of Toronto has found.



"It was previously thought that an enzyme called gamma-secretase contributed to the development of protein deposits in the Alzheimer’s brain. This study shows that this enzyme is more accurately described as a family of enzymes, each with its own specialization," explains Professor David Westaway of U of T’s Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and senior author of a paper in the June 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gamma-secretase enzymes generate toxic molecules called amyloid-beta peptides. These peptides produce deposits called amyloid plaques, the brain lesions that are a defining feature of Alzheimer’s disease. If scientists can stop these enzymes from working, they will be able to stop their resulting toxic molecules from forming in the brain. Complicating the situation is the fact that the gamma-secretase enzyme was also thought to be involved in healthy functioning of other tissues; therefore, therapies would have to inhibit the negative effects while maintaining the normal functioning of other cells.


Westaway and his research colleagues used genetically-engineered mice to show that toxic activity of gamma-secretase could be separated from its other benign activities. "This finding provides hope that Alzheimer’s treatments can be developed that reduces toxic activity of certain gamma-secretases while still maintaining the beneficial activities of other family members," says Peter Mastrangelo, a research associate in Westaway’s lab and first author of the paper.

Janet Wong | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>