Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cell death : An anti-rejection drug for the treatment of Huntington’s disease

07.02.2006


At the Institut Curie, CNRS and Inserm researchers have shown that Huntington’s disease may be treated using the drug FK506, which is also used clinically to prevent graft rejection. Like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease is characterized by the abnormal death of neurons.



The Institut Curie researchers have discovered that FK506 blocks the toxicity of the protein huntingtin, which causes the death of certain neurons leading to disease onset. FK506 is already used in a clinical setting and so is a candidate for fast-track development as a treatment for Huntington’s disease.

This study was published in the February 1, 2006 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.


Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder which affects approximately 6 000 people in France and is of concern to over 12 000 carriers of the mutated gene as yet untouched by clinical signs. It is characterized by uncontrolled movements, personality changes, dementia and death 10 to 20 years after onset of the first symptoms (see "Additional information").

Huntington’s disease results from changes in the IT15 gene, which encodes a protein, huntingtin, whose function is incompletely elucidated. Normal huntingtin contains repeats of the amino acid glutamine, but mutant huntingtin contains more than 35 to 40 glutamines and induces the disease. Symptoms occur earlier as the number of repeats increases.

This abnormal expansion of the polyglutamine tract in huntingtin results in structural changes, and the mutant huntingtin accumulates in neurons thereby causing their dysfunction and ultimately their death.

The same type of mutation causes other neurodegenerative diseases, each involving different regions of the brain. In Huntington’s disease, degeneration occurs in the neurons of the striatum, which are involved in the control of movement.

Raúl Pardo and Emilie Colin at the Institut Curie are studying the mechanisms that lead to neuron death in Huntington’s disease, under the direction of Frédéric Saudou and Sandrine Humbert(1).

They have now shown that calcineurin, a protein abundant in the brain, chemically alters mutant huntingtin, which becomes more toxic for neurons.

They have also discovered that by inhibiting calcineurin, FK506 “corrects” this chemical alteration in mutant huntingtin both in cultured neurons and in an animal model of the disease. FK506 even prevents the death of the striatal neurons. So, FK506 negates the harmful effects of mutant huntingtin in neurons.

FK506 is already used therapeutically to prevent graft rejection, and so may be a candidate for fast-track development as a treatment for Huntington’s disease.

Catherine Goupillon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jneurosci.org/
http://www.curie.fr

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

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.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>