Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene linked to aging also linked to Alzheimer's

Date:
July 22, 2010
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Biologists report that they have discovered the first link between the amyloid plaques that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and a gene previously implicated in the aging process, SIRT1.

MIT biologists report that they have discovered the first link between the amyloid plaques that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and a gene previously implicated in the aging process, SIRT1.

The researchers found that SIRT1 appears to control production of the devastating protein fragments, termed A-beta peptides, that make up amyloid plaques. They also showed that in mice engineered to develop Alzheimer's plaques and symptoms, learning and memory deficits were improved when SIRT1 was overproduced in the brain, and exacerbated when SIRT1 was deleted.

The results, reported in the July 23 issue of the journal Cell, indicate that drugs that activate SIRT1 could be a promising strategy to combat Alzheimer's, says Leonard Guarente, the MIT biology professor who led the study.

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects up to one-third of people who reach the age of 80. Patients suffer from memory loss and other cognitive impairments believed to be the result of damage from amyloid plaques.

Amyloid plaques form when proteins called amyloid precursor proteins (APPs) are broken into smaller amyloid peptides. However, APPs can also be cleaved into harmless protein fragments.

In this study, the MIT researchers showed that SIRT1 activates the production of an enzyme that cleaves APPs into harmless fragments instead of the Alzheimer's-associated amyloid peptides. Mice engineered to produce excess SIRT1 had reduced peptide levels, while mice with SIRT1 knocked out showed increased peptide levels.

The SIRT1 gene, which produces proteins called sirtuins, has previously been shown to regulate many cell activities, especially those involved in stress response and calorie deprivation. Guarente first drew attention to sirtuins about 15 years ago when he discovered that the yeast version of the gene, SIR2, regulates longevity in yeast. Later work revealed similar effects in worms, mice and rats.

Other authors of the Cell paper are MIT postdoctoral associates Gizem Donmez and Dena Cohen and junior Diana Wang. The research was funded by an American Parkinson Disease Association fellowship, a grant from the National Institutes of Health and a gift from the Paul F. Glenn Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The original article was written by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gizem Donmez, Diana Wang, Dena E. Cohen, and Leonard Guarente. SIRT1 Suppresses beta-Amyloid Production by Activating the alpha-Secretase Gene ADAM10. Cell, July 23, 2010 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.06.020

Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Gene linked to aging also linked to Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722132342.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2010, July 22). Gene linked to aging also linked to Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722132342.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Gene linked to aging also linked to Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722132342.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. 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