Medindia
Advertisement

Identification of Potential Drug Target Gives New Hope for Alzheimer's Patients

by VR Sreeraman on July 4, 2009 at 12:33 PM

 Identification of Potential Drug Target Gives New Hope for Alzheimer's Patients
A collaborative study conducted by researchers from UC Santa Barbara and several other institutions has provided laboratory that a cluster of peptides may be the toxic agent in Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers believe that the finding made in the laboratory of Michael T. Bowers, a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSB, may lead to new drugs for the disease.
Advertisement

In their study report, they have explained the process in which the toxic Amyloid Beta 42 peptides aggregate, and outlined the new technology they use to study these peptides.

"We believe that we have put a face, a structure, on the molecular assembly that is responsible for Alzheimer's disease," Nature magazine quoted Bowers as saying.
Advertisement

He and his colleagues used an innovative technology called ion mobility-based mass spectroscopy, a method that allows researchers to investigate the structure, aggregation, and energetics of protein and peptide systems.

The Amyloid Beta (AB) 42 peptide is clipped from a much larger protein, the amyloid precursor protein (APP), and is composed of 42 amino acid residues.

A second peptide, AB40, is 10 times more abundant than AB42 in healthy human brains, and is also clipped from APP. It is identical to AB42 except it is missing the last two amino acids.

Both peptides aggregate, but AB42 more so than AB40.

Bowers points out that AB40 never grows beyond a tetramer-a cluster of four AB40 peptides. As a consequence, it is nontoxic.

By contrast, adds the researcher, AB42 grows to form rings of six units each.

His team say that two of these "six-mer" rings stack to form a dodecamer, or "twelve-mer", and then the aggregation stops.

These dodecamer clusters are long-lived, but may eventually rearrange to form so-called B-sheet structures, which lead to the large fibrils that form the plaques found in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

While experimenting on mice, the researchers observed that the animals implanted with the gene that expresses human APP, and hence able to form AB42 in their brains, quickly developed memory deficits-as if they had Alzheimer's disease.

Since mice have a much faster metabolism than humans, the disease progresses more quickly. Of importance is the fact that the only AB species found in the brains of the transgenic mice correlates with the dodecamer of AB42 characterized in the Bowers lab experiments. These two pieces of data together strongly implicate the dodecamer of AB42 as the toxic agent in Alzheimer's disease.

"Our group, along with our collaborators, are searching for drug candidates that can prevent AB42 from aggregating to form the toxic dodecamer. While it is early in the search, we are hopeful good candidates can be found. As a consequence, there is a need to find an early marker for Alzheimer's disease so that we can use these drugs to radically slow down the disease progression," said Bowers.

Writing about the study in the journal Nature Chemistry, Bowers said that his team's method was new, but was gaining acceptance in the biological community.

He said that to fully understand the disease, effects of the oligomerization process would have to be observed at the cellular level, however.

"These latest results are a very hopeful thing. I'm more hopeful now than I have ever been that we can make some real progress on this terrible disease," said Bowers.

Source: ANI
LIN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Lower Respiratory Tract Infections Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
Type 2 Diabetes can be Controlled by Unripen Green Jackfruit Flour
Covid Pandemic: How Parents can Help Kids Deal with Back-to-School Anxiety
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Alzheimers Disease Drug Toxicity Signature Drug Toxicity Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Diet and Alzheimer´s Disease Genetics of Alzheimer´s disease 

Recommended Reading
Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting memory and thinking and ......
Drug Strategy To Combat Alzheimer's Disease Revealed
Scientists unveiled the ways by which the overproduction of a pepticide linked with Alzheimer's ......
Specific Imbalance Between Two Peptides may Cause Alzheimer's
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have challenged the current theory on the causes ......
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare form of degenerative brain disorder, or brain damage that ...
Diet and Alzheimer´s Disease
Alzheimer''s begins with forgetfulness, but over time affects speech and coordination along with dra...
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Genetics of Alzheimer´s disease
There are numerous genes that have been discovered that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use