Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ALS Aggregates Are Composed Of Only One Protein

Date:
March 31, 2008
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
Researchers have provided a big new clue to help combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), deciphering that the dense protein aggregates that contribute to the nerve decay of ALS are composed of just one protein: superoxide dismutase (SOD1). While the aggregation of mutated SOD1, a protein that normally protects cells from free radical damage, is a tell-tale sign of familial ALS, the exact composition of these aggregates has been unclear.

Researchers have provided a big new clue to help combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), deciphering that the dense protein aggregates that contribute to the nerve decay of ALS are composed of just one protein: superoxide dismutase (SOD1).

While the aggregation of mutated SOD1, a protein that normally protects cells from free radical damage, is a tell-tale sign of familial ALS, the exact composition of these aggregates has been unclear. Identifying the other proteins present and if they are modified in some way could help answer how they form and why they are so toxic.

Julian Whitelegge and colleagues Joan S. Valentine and David Borchelt used mass spectrometry to uncover the components of these aggregates and discovered, somewhat surprisingly, that they were composed almost entirely of SOD1 (some samples contained trace amounts of random abundant nerve proteins that likely got there by happenstance).

In addition, their analysis of ALS mouse spinal cords showed almost all the SOD1 was fully intact protein and not partial or damaged fragments. Likewise, the researchers did not find evidence for extensive chemical modifications (that were not readily removed by DTT treatment).

While many questions about these aggregates still remain, this study has given scientists a starting point, suggesting that aggregation is an intrinsic property of mutant SOD1, very much like the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's.

This research was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "ALS Aggregates Are Composed Of Only One Protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321140315.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2008, March 31). ALS Aggregates Are Composed Of Only One Protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321140315.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "ALS Aggregates Are Composed Of Only One Protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321140315.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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