Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetics Of ALS Progression

Date:
May 31, 2008
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers lend new and valuable insight into the genetics of ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, fatal neurological disease involving the degeneration and death of motor neuron cells.

An upcoming paper in the journal Genes and Development from Drs. Hidenori Ichijo and Hideki Nishitoh (The University of Tokyo) and colleagues lends new and valuable insight into the genetics of ALS.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, fatal neurological disease involving the degeneration and death of motor neuron cells.

ALS is one of the most common neuromuscular diseases worldwide, affecting as roughly 25,000 Americans, with an estimated 5,000 new diagnoses each year. The life expectancy of ALS patients is usually 3 to 5 years after diagnosis.

5-10 percent of all ALS cases are inherited. About 20% of these familial ALS cases are the result of an inherited genetic mutation on chromosome 21, in the gene encoding for the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) enzyme. SOD1 is an antioxidant that protects the body from DNA damage caused by the accumulation of free radicals within cells. However, several reports have demonstrated that mutated SOD1 toxicity is not due to decreased antioxidant activity, but rather to a 'gain of unknown toxic function'.

In their upcoming paper, Dr. Ichijo and colleagues delineate how mutations in SOD1 lead to motor neuron cell death and the progression of ALS. The researchers characterized a molecular pathway by which mutated SOD1 contributes to the accumulation of malformed proteins inside the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) compartment of motor neuron cells. Beyond a certain threshold, this ER stress induces cell death.

Interestingly, Dr. Ichijo's team found that the inactivation of certain key factors in this pathway could mitigate neurodegeneration and prolong survival in a mouse model of inherited ALS.

Although not all familial ALS cases are due to the SOD1 mutation (and not all persons with a mutated form of SOD1 develop ALS), further insight into mechanism of the disease will undoubtedly aid in the development of an effective treatment for ALS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Genetics Of ALS Progression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080531185845.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2008, May 31). Genetics Of ALS Progression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080531185845.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Genetics Of ALS Progression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080531185845.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. 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