Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

"Strikingly Similar" Protein May Be In Alzheimer's And Mad Cow Disease

Date:
August 24, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A "striking similarity" between proteins involved in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and mad cow disease was described here today at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The theory, if verified by other researchers, could help focus efforts to develop preventive drugs.

Washington D.C., August 23 -- A "striking similarity" between proteins involved in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and mad cow disease was described here today at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The theory, if verified by other researchers, could help focus efforts to develop preventive drugs, according to the study's lead researcher, Chi Ming Yang, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

Prion diseases — which include, among others, neurodegenerative diseases such as mad cow disease and its human counterpart, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease — are caused by a malfunctioning prion protein. In Alzheimer's disease, another neurodegenerative disease, the amyloid precursor protein has been implicated.

Using computer modeling, Yang discovered a similar pattern of amino acids in the prion protein and the amyloid precursor protein: a reductive amino acid followed by three non-reductive amino acids.

"This suggests a common molecular mechanism underlying the initiation stages of sporadic Alzheimer's disease and both sporadic and genetic prion diseases," says Yang.

Reductive amino acids are more prone to damage by oxygen-containing free radicals (molecules with a highly reactive unpaired electron) than other amino acids, explained Yang. Normally, the body can clear itself of free radicals. But with age, this system may fail. When enough free radicals accumulate to damage a protein molecule, it can malfunction, he says.

Proteins typically fold into specific three-dimensional structures that determine their functions. A malfunctioning protein may remain partially unfolded, which can place different amino acids in close proximity, Yang explained. In the case of Alzheimer's and prion diseases, the reductive amino acids in close proximity can lead to the formation of protein plaques, according to Yang.

Although Alzheimer's and prion diseases seem to start in similar ways, they progress differently. This may explain why Alzheimer's disease advances at a much slower pace than Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, says Yang.

The paper on this research, PHYS 460, will be presented at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 23, in the Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D.

Chi Ming Yang, Ph.D., is a chemistry professor at Nankai University, Tianjin, China.

A nonprofit organization with a membership of 161,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. ""Strikingly Similar" Protein May Be In Alzheimer's And Mad Cow Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000824081151.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, August 24). "Strikingly Similar" Protein May Be In Alzheimer's And Mad Cow Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000824081151.htm
American Chemical Society. ""Strikingly Similar" Protein May Be In Alzheimer's And Mad Cow Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000824081151.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins