HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
X-rays may show way to better Alzheimer's drugs

Weizmann Institute scientists explain how a plant substance blocks a key brain enzyme involved in Alzheimer's disease

REHOVOT, Israel -- December 27, 1999 -- Weizmann Institute researchers have revealed the exact nature of the 3-D interaction between galanthamine, a natural substance extracted from the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) and the brain enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Their findings, appearing in the December 17 issue of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS Letters), may provide crucial information in designing a new family of Alzheimers drugs.

Alzheimer's disease is a severe degenerative disorder causing memory loss and other cognitive deficits in roughly 10 percent of the elderly. One of its pathological hallmarks is the deterioration of nerve cells releasing acetylcholine a neurotransmitter that helps ferry messages in the form of nerve impulses between brain cells. The acetylcholine shortage that ensues is compounded by the action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine in the body at an astonishing rate of 20,000 molecules per second.

Blocking acetylcholine breakdown

While scientists have yet to understand the cause of the disease, several Alzheimers drugs already exist, including Aricept, HupA (huperzine A), and Cognex (tacrine). Their underlying approach is to attempt to restore acetylcholine levels by inhibiting AChE activity.

Using X-ray crystallography, Dr. Harry Greenblatt of the Weizmann Institutes Department of Structural Biology, has revealed that galanthamine acts in a similar manner, replenishing acetylcholine levels by binding to AChEs active site and shutting off its "cutting machinery." Greenblatt conducted the research together with Dr. Gitay Kryger, and Professors Joel Sussman, and Israel Silman, all of the Weizmann Institute, as well as Dr. Terry Lewis of Zeneca Agrochemicals, in England.

However, ac
'"/>

Contact: Jeffrey J Sussman
jeffrey@acwis.org
212-895-7951
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
26-Dec-1999


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Many physicians misperceive radiation risks to developing fetuses from X-rays and CT scans
2. Lycopene slows human prostate tumour growth in mice and combined with vitamin E is even better
3. Microbes eat their way to better concrete
4. Computer database being developed at Temple will allow for better inventory of chemicals
5. New and better drugs for tuberculosis goal of UH professor
6. Ants protect plants better when jacked up on nectar
7. The blind really do hear better
8. Microarrays, key genome expression trackers, work better when probes are sequence-verified
9. Researchers develop better understanding of immune response to viral infection
10. Crack babies do better when placed with non-family caregivers
11. A better way to copy DNA

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/20/2019)... ... January 17, 2019 , ... The possibility that ethnic differences ... documented for many years. These observed differences may be manifest in alterations in ... patients residing in different geographic regions. This created the perceived necessity to fully ...
(Date:1/14/2019)... ... January 14, 2019 , ... ... detect precancer and cancer cells in blood, will present new findings at the ... the fight against colorectal cancer. The results from this study show CellMax Life’s ...
(Date:1/10/2019)... ... ... Dr. Beanlands is the Vered Chair and Division Head of Cardiology at the ... of its National Cardiac PET Centre, and Professor in the University's Division of Cardiology ... of Cellular and Molecular medicine. , He is a founding member of ASNC, member ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2019)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2019 , ... ... clinical testing was, until recently, the exclusive purview of physicians. That's changing as ... The global direct to consumer (DTC) laboratory testing market totaled $208 million in ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... ... January 17, 2019 , ... ... Partner announces the launch of a specialized automation technology, titled Automate 3D. Automate ... automatic generation of models and drawings to deliver to end-users, customers, and ERP ...
(Date:1/15/2019)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... January 15, 2019 , ... Personalized ... factors for worsening kidney disease, according to a new study published in the journal ... and are frequently treated with partial nephrectomy, a surgical procedure in which the tumor ...
(Date:1/11/2019)... ... January 11, 2019 , ... Boekel Scientific launches its ... donor blood. This advanced and intuitive medical device was designed in conjunction ... needed for the busiest donor stations with new-to-the industry features to improve efficiency ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: