Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find role RNA plays in progress of Alzheimer’s disease

11.11.2003


Researchers at Ohio State University have found new clues to how free radicals can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.


C. Glenn Lin



The study found that oxidation – a type of damage to cells caused by free radicals – can damage certain kinds of messenger RNA in the brain. That damage may be related to Alzheimer’s.

Messenger RNA (or mRNA) is important because it turns DNA’s genetic code into the proteins needed for healthy brain function. But in an Alzheimer’s brain, up to half of the mRNA are damaged by oxidation; these oxidized mRNAs may process proteins abnormally, which may contribute to neuronal death.


“We know that free radicals can damage DNA, but nobody had looked at the effect of free radicals on RNA," said C. Glenn Lin, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of neuroscience at Ohio State. "When we looked for mRNA in the Alzheimer’s brain, we found significant amounts of oxidized mRNA in the frontal cortex, which is one of the main areas affected by the disease."

The researchers looked at the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients and found that only certain kinds of mRNA are susceptible to oxidative damage. There are many, some of which researchers have yet to discover, Lin said.

This is the first study to describe the specific types, or species, of mRNA oxidized in Alzheimer’s disease; until this point, researchers knew that the oxidation of mRNA played a role in Alzheimer’s disease, but they didn’t know which species were at fault.

Lin and Ohio State colleagues Xiu Shan and Hirofumi Tashiro, both with the department of neuroscience, reported their findings on November 10 in New Orleans at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference.

The researchers used tissue taken from the brains of 11 recently deceased Alzheimer’s patients (aged 65 to 86); seven age-matched controls; and two young control subjects (aged 22 and 49). Using a series of biochemical testing methods, they analyzed mRNA content from the hippocampus, frontal cortex and cerebellum of each person’s brain. They were looking for mRNA transcripts – replicas of DNA genetic code – to see if certain transcripts were more susceptible to oxidation.

The researchers also wanted to see if they would find the same level of mRNA oxidation in the brains of the age-matched and young controls to determine whether or not this level of mRNA oxidation was truly unique to Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease first attacks the hippocampus, virtually destroying its ability to help regulate memory. Damage to the frontal cortex – an area important for cognition – follows. The cerebellum is usually unaffected in Alzheimer’s, Lin said.

The researchers found high levels of oxidative damage in the frontal cortex of only the Alzheimer’s patients’ brains. They also found that only certain mRNA species were oxidized.

"We were somewhat surprised to find that free radical damage wasn’t a random hit in the brain," Lin said. "But many of the oxidized mRNA species were related to genes already known to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease."

This oxidation appears to start early in the disease process, Lin said, and the disease progressively worsens as proteins continue to accumulate.

"Protein aggregation is one of the hallmark features of Alzheimer’s disease," Lin said. "We think that mRNA oxidation and subsequent protein accumulation may strongly interfere with the brain’s normal cellular processes, which may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s."

Lin said he hopes that some day researchers will be able to pinpoint the exact kinds of mRNA transcripts that cause protein aggregation.
"That might help us figure out what kind of proteins in the cell go haywire at an early stage of Alzheimer’s," he said. "Then, if we can somehow block that process, perhaps we could reduce the progression of the disease."

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer’s Association.


Contact: C. Glenn Lin; (614) 688-5433; Lin.492@osu.edu
Written by Holly Wagner, (614) 292-8310; Wagner.235@osu.edu

Holly Wagner | OSU
Further information:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/sfnad.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>