HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Naturally occurring enzyme can break down key part of Alzheimer's plaques

Scientists have identified a naturally occurring enzyme that can break down a key component of the brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. The finding may provide researchers with new opportunities to understand what goes wrong in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and could one day help them seek new therapies.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed earlier this summer that the enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), degrades abnormally aggregated proteins known as amyloid fibrils, a main ingredient of brain plaques. In the brain, MMP-9 is made by support cells known as astrocytes.

MMP-9 is already well-known because of its links to cancer metastases, vascular disease, arthritis and other pathologies. Scientists called the new link to Alzheimer's encouraging, noting that previously identified enzymes only degrade a smaller, nonaggregated component of Alzheimer's plaques.

"We already knew of three enzymes that break down amyloid beta (Abeta), a protein fragment that clumps together with itself to form the fibrils," says Jin-Moo Lee, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology. "But the thinking up until now had been that Abeta might be clumping together so tightly that the fibrils were indestructible."

In a new study, appearing October 25 in The Journal of Neuroscience, Lee's group found that disabling the mouse gene for MMP-9 increased levels of Abeta in the spaces between brain cells. The finding proves that MMP-9 contributes to clearance of Abeta from extracellular spaces and suggests its dysfunction could potentially contribute to the development of Alzheimer's.

"MMP-9 and other enzymes like it are secreted from brain support cells and active in the spaces outside of cells, and that's where we saw an increase in Abeta levels in the mice that lacked the gene for MMP-9," Lee notes. "That's relevant to Alzheimer's because all the amyloid plaques are extracellular, and the forma
'"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
24-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Naturally occurring asbestos linked to lung cancer
2. Antibody to a naturally-occurring sugar chain in colon inhibits inflammatory bowel disease
3. Study shows naturally occurring proteins protect against rapid tumor growth
4. Green tea boosts production of detox enzymes, rendering cancerous chemicals harmless
5. 2007-2008 Genzyme/ACMGF Clinical Genetics Fellowship In Biochemical Genetics award winner announced
6. NIEHS researchers identify enzyme critical in DNA replication
7. Scientists discover role of enzyme in DNA repair
8. Researchers create model of cancer-preventing enzyme, study how it works
9. Viral enzyme recruited in fight against ear infection
10. RNA enzyme structure offers a glimpse into the origins of life
11. Researchers create artificial enzyme that mimics the bodys internal engine

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


(Date:11/5/2019)... ... November 05, 2019 , ... Catalent, ... drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced it will present ... Barcelona, Spain on Nov. 12 – 14, 2019. , On Wednesday, Nov. 13 ...
(Date:11/2/2019)... ... , ... Stay on top of current hot topics through free webinars presented ... is free, so be sure to register today to save your place! Participate in ... see our upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL OPERATIONS , November 14 – Leveraging Technology and ...
(Date:10/30/2019)... ... October 30, 2019 , ... PathSensors, Inc. will be showcasing ... Tuesday, November 5, 2019, to Thursday, November 7, 2019. This convergence will focus ... IED (explosive) threats. Delegates and experts from over 30 countries will attend the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/5/2019)... POWAY, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 05, 2019 , ... Ole, a German Shepherd, was ... difficulty with stairs and jumping. Though his energy level and his willingness to play ... to veterinary surgeon Dr. Holly Mullen of VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center ...
(Date:11/2/2019)... ... October 31, 2019 , ... drug360 graph, a breakthrough knowledge ... drug360 brings tellic’s expertise in biomedical language processing and machine learning to bear ... between genes, diseases, variants, phenotypes, and other biomedical entities. Researchers and analysts ...
(Date:10/29/2019)... ... 28, 2019 , ... CaroGen Corporation , a biotechnology company, today announced ... Professor Jack R Wands, MD, of Brown University , Dr. Steve Projan, ... Mor, MD, PhD, of Wayne State University, formerly a professor at Yale University School ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 24, 2019 , ... ... Bichsel Medical Marketing Group (BMMG), a boutique healthcare-specific marketing firm, to ... of its in-house Healthcare Strategy Division. , Healthcare clients in pharma, bio-therapeutics, medical ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: