Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preventing Protein Clumping Characteristic Of Parkinson's Disease With Baker's Yeast

Date:
August 15, 2008
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Parkinson disease is a debilitating and lethal neurodegenerative disease, for which there is currently no cure. However, new data have provided evidence to support that idea that agents that disrupt the formation of the abnormal aggregates of a protein called alpha-syn that characterize the brain of individuals with PD might have therapeutic effects.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a protein from a most unlikely source -- baker's yeast -- that might protect against Parkinson's disease. More than a million Americans suffer from Parkinson's disease, and no treatments are available that fundamentally alter the course of the condition.

By introducing the yeast protein Hsp104 into animal models of Parkinson's disease, researchers prevented protein clumping that leads to nerve cell death characteristic of the disorder.

"Yeast express a protein called Hsp104, which is able to reverse protein aggregation," says James Shorter, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. "However, for reasons that are unclear, Hsp104 is not found in mammals. We wondered if introducing Hsp104 into mammals could help with diseases connected with protein aggregation."

Clinicians do not fully understand the process and cause of Parkinson's disease. However, researchers believe that a protein called alpha-synuclein misfolds and clumps in many forms of the disease, and that this process is intimately tied to the selective death of dopamine-producing neurons that results in Parkinson's disease.

In this study, researchers found that Hsp104 could partially reverse alpha-synuclein aggregation in test-tube experiments. Remarkably, rats expressing Hsp104 showed lower levels of alpha-synuclein aggregation and alpha-synuclein-induced toxicity of neurons. This result is significant because the rat model used recreates the selective loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the region of the brain affected in Parkinson's disease, say the investigators.

"This study represents an important preliminary step," says Shorter. "One thing we'd like to do next is to treat an animal model which already has considerable quantities of alpha-synuclein aggregates to see if Hsp104 can actually reverse the process in the rat brain."

Co-authors in addition to Shorter are Christophe Lo Bianco of the Wallenberg Neurosciences Center in Lund, Sweden and the Brain Mind Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland; Etienne Regulier, Hilal Lasheul, and Patrick Aebischer, also of the Brain Mind Institute; Takeshi Iwatsubo at the University of Tokyo; and Susan Lindquist of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA. The Michael J. Fox Foundation, European Molecular Biology Organization, Swedish Parkinson's Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, University of Pennsylvania Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Health Director's New Innovator Award provided funding for this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hsp104 antagonizes alpha-synuclein aggregation and reduces dopaminergic degeneration in a rat model of Parkinson disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Preventing Protein Clumping Characteristic Of Parkinson's Disease With Baker's Yeast." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814171124.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2008, August 15). Preventing Protein Clumping Characteristic Of Parkinson's Disease With Baker's Yeast. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814171124.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Preventing Protein Clumping Characteristic Of Parkinson's Disease With Baker's Yeast." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814171124.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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