Combinatorial drug therapies, effective for cancer and AIDS, show potential for Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
UC Irvine researchers have identified several promising drug compounds that when combined show the potential to treat Huntington’s disease.
In tests on fruit flies, Larry Marsh and Leslie Thompson found that combinatorial drug therapies developed from these compounds halted the brain-cell damage caused by the fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Such types of therapies have proven very effective in the treatment of other complex human diseases, like cancers and AIDS. And while any human benefits from this study are years off, the research provides the first evidence that a regimen of complementary drugs can treat Huntington’s. Study results appear this week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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