A Jekyll-and-Hyde enzyme's role in Alzheimer's

Researchers have discovered how a brain enzyme important in the development and maintenance of learning and memory also plays a key role in the death of neurons in neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). They found that the enzyme's transformation from Jekyll to Hyde may be due to abnormal activation of the brain's mechanism to compensate for the damage from such diseases. This compensatory mechanism may also function in normal aging, they said.

In their article in the December 8, 2005, issue of Neuron, Li-Huei Tsai and colleagues said their findings in mice could offer a model to study how normal neural mechanisms can go awry to contribute to the brain degeneration of AD.

The researchers' studies concentrated on a key brain regulatory enzyme called Cdk5. Elevated levels of Cdk5 had been found in the brains of AD patients, as well as elevated levels of a regulatory protein called p25 that is known to hyperactivate Cdk5. Researchers had found that the hyperactivating p25 is produced when the normal regulatory protein for Cdk5, called p35, is snipped into the shorter p25 by another enzyme.

In their experiments, the researchers used mice in which they could switch on p25 at will in the brain's learning and memory center, the hippocampus. In these mice, they found that switching on p25 for only two weeks actually enhanced learning and memory compared to normal mice. The two-week p25 mice could learn more quickly to associate a tone or environment with a mild electrical shock and to find a platform submerged in a pool of murky water.

In contrast, found the researchers, mice in which p25 had been switched on for six weeks showed impaired learning and memory in these tasks. Physiological studies showed that these mice showed significant brain atrophy and loss of hippocampal neurons. The researchers also showed that the two-week pulse of p25 did not cause neurodegeneration and had long-lasting effects on enhancing memory.

Contact: Heidi Hardman
Cell Press

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Nobel Laureate finds elegant explanation for DNA transcribing enzymes high fidelity
2. Gilbert Foundation and American Fed for Aging Research award grants on Alzheimers disease
3. Link identified between Alzheimers disease and glaucoma
4. UCF research links proteins, stem cells and potential Alzheimers treatment
5. Journal of Alzheimers Disease achieves significant impact factor
6. Alzheimers prevention role discovered for prions
7. Cloned pigs help scientists towards a breakthrough in Alzheimers
8. Alzheimers drug based on Purdue -- designed inhibitor begins clinical trials
9. Paving the way toward a vaccine against Alzheimers disease
10. Genetic fellow traveler discovered in Alzheimers
11. New clues to stroke role in Alzheimers

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/9/2016)... Paris Police Prefecture ... solution to ensure the safety of people and operations in ... major tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised ... today that its video security solution will be utilised by ... public safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... --  The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... in which consumers will be able to interact with IBM ... voice or text and receive relevant information about the product ... have long sought an advertising solution that can create a ... and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts from ... believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving ... to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading ... was today awarded as one of the World ... world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering ... real world in the nutrition, health and consumer ... with customers including Fortune 500 companies to design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: