Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dysfunctional Protein Dynamics Behind Neurological Disease?

Date:
November 2, 2009
Source:
Swedish Research Council
Summary:
Researchers have taken a snapshot of proteins changing shape, sticking together and creating structures that are believed to trigger deadly processes in the nervous system. The discovery opens the possibility of designing drugs for a devastating neurological disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Researchers at Lund University, Sweden, have taken a snapshot of proteins changing shape, sticking together and creating structures that are believed to trigger deadly processes in the nervous system. The discovery opens the possibility of designing drugs for a devastating neurological disease, ALS.

Research indicates that ALS, in common with other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, is caused by our own proteins, which form aberrant aggregates that are fatally toxic to our nerve cells. However, it has not been known what causes these proteins to aggregate. Researchers at Lund University have now revealed what happens with proteins during the very first, critical step towards forming larger aggregates.

It turns out that the protein superoxide dismutase interchanges between its normal structure and a misfolded form. During a brief moment the structure becomes partially misfolded to expose sticky patches that normally are hidden in the interior. These patches cause two or several protein molecules to stick together, thereby forming the cornerstone of the larger structures that are believed to underlie ALS.

The research team headed by Mikael Akke at the Center for Molecular Protein Science of Lund University used NMR spectroscopy to create a snapshot of the misfolded structure, which had not previously been seen. Knowledge of the misfolded protein structure potentially makes possible future efforts to rationally design drugs that prevent the misfolding event and hence the development of ALS.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a dreaded and incurable disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle atrophy and respiratory failure. Worldwide, 2 per 100,000 people are diagnosed with ALS each year and 6 per 1 million people suffer from ALS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swedish Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Transient structural distortion of metal-free Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase triggers aberrant oligomerization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, in ptrss

Cite This Page:

Swedish Research Council. "Dysfunctional Protein Dynamics Behind Neurological Disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105324.htm>.
Swedish Research Council. (2009, November 2). Dysfunctional Protein Dynamics Behind Neurological Disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105324.htm
Swedish Research Council. "Dysfunctional Protein Dynamics Behind Neurological Disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105324.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
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