CU, Harvard researchers team up to break down causes of Alzheimer's

An enzyme previously associated with preventing the dementia of Alzheimer's disease now appears to play an even bigger role in safeguarding against the disease, bringing the promise of new targets for drug therapies.

While scientists already knew that the enzyme known as Pin1 can prevent the tangles of knotlike brain lesions associated with Alzheimer's, new research, published in the March 23 issue of Nature, finds the enzyme also plays a pivotal role in guarding against a second type of lesion, the buildup of plaque, or flat deposits on the surface of brain cells. Alzheimer's is caused by the two types of lesions, or alterations in brain tissue, occurring simultaneously.

Researchers at Cornell University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School authored the study.

"The new finding provides a very specific molecular interaction that can be used as a target in drug discovery," said Linda Nicholson, co-principal investigator on the study and a Cornell associate professor of molecular biology and genetics.

Nicholson and her Cornell team observed Pin1 acting on a protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP), which appears to be the primary cause of Alzheimer's. When APP gets a phosphate group attached to its tail (a process called phosphorylation), it toggles slowly back and forth between two forms. Like a kind of molecular Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one form leads to buildup of plaque and disease, while the other form is part of normal function and helps neurons grow and survive.

Using a powerful microscopic technique called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Nicholson and colleagues found that Pin1 acts as a kind of molecular accelerator, allowing APP to toggle back and forth between its good and bad forms 1,000 times faster than if Pin1 were not present. In the absence of Pin1, the Hyde-like, disease-causing form of APP has a chance to build up to high levels toxic to cells, which leads to plaque les

Contact: Blaine Friedlander Jr.
Cornell University News Service

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Harvard and U. Pittsburgh researchers explain carbon monoxides anti-inflammatory effects
2. Harvard team creates spray drying technique for TB vaccine
3. NSF awards Harvard Forest $4.9 million to study landscape change
4. Harvard scientists identify compounds that stimulate stem cell growth in the brain
5. Students from U of Colorado at Boulder and Harvard triumph in SIAMs Math Contest in Modeling
6. NJIT professor to address Water Industry Conference At Harvard Club about desalinating water
7. Harvard Medical signs agreement with Merck to develop potential therapy for macular degeneration
8. Harvard Six Cities Study follow up: Reducing soot particles is associated with longer lives
9. News conference event and call-in announcing findings from Harvard study on climate change
10. Brown-Harvard team solves mobile DNAs surgical sleight-of-hand
11. Harvard, Texas A&M scientists develop new laser

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Commercial launch readiness is a critical stage in a product ... or vaccine, the global economic downturn will only increase price pressures overall for the ... capturing full value from every product launch is critical. However, history shows that only ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 03, 2020 , ... ... proud to earn outstanding recognition and multiple awards for not only the products ... ABM portfolio, SoME® Skincare and Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... had completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, located in ... Japanese clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility will provide ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... top radiation centers in 16 countries, has reached its 20th anniversary of worldwide ... in routine use at top universities including University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... ... After research model surgery and catheter implantation, the long journey of catheter maintenance and ... successful study, while protecting and accessing the catheter or device post-surgery is often undervalued ... Envigo in a live webinar on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... and global consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased ... new Director of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In ... commonly used to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to ... by Dr MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: