Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Magic number' 695 opens up new areas for Alzheimer's research

Date:
November 15, 2010
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Biologists have opened up exciting new avenues for research into Alzheimer's and they may help to explain why decades of study into the causes of the disease have so far failed to lead to a cure.

Alzheimer's disease is widely believed to be caused by the gradual accumulation in the brain of amyloid-beta peptide which is toxic to nerve cells. Amyloid beta peptide is formed from a protein known as APP, which is found in three forms. Most research into APP -- a key area of study for the disease -- does not distinguish between the different forms of the protein.

The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, show that amyloid beta peptide is actually created mainly by just one form of APP -- known as APP695 for the number of its amino acids. APP695 is found at greater concentration in brain and nerve cells, but this study -- funded by the Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer's Research Trust -- is the first time the significance of that has been shown. This discovery will now enable research to focus more clearly on the exact mechanism by which amyloid beta peptide accumulates in the brain.

"Research into amyloid beta peptide has been going on for more than 20 years and while treatments have made it to clinical trials, nothing has proved truly effective against this disease," says Professor Tony Turner, from Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences, who co-led the research. "This could be because research to date has been a bit of a blunt instrument: scientists have essentially been working on too broad a field. Our findings will allow researchers to target their work much more precisely."

The study of APP695 also led the scientists to identify a potential new factor in the development of Alzheimer's. When APP is broken down, it forms another protein called AICD. The researchers discovered that AICD formed from APP695 switches on certain genes within nerve cells that may then damage the cell. The process is unique to nerve cells and AICD formed from the other forms of APP does not have this effect.

"AICD has been detected before, but because studies haven't differentiated between the different forms of APP, there was no consensus on its role," explains co-researcher Professor Nigel Hooper. "It seems likely that AICD formed from APP695 is a contributing factor in the deterioration in nerve and brain cells which leads to Alzheimer's. This provides another avenue for research into a potential cure for the disease."

Professor Chris Kennard, chair of the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board, said: "This is the latest study from a long-term research collaboration to significantly further our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease. It forms part of a 4.1m investment by the MRC and is a shining example of where fundamental research, which unravels the complex biology of disease, can provide the building blocks for potential treatments in future."

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "This study gives us important new insight into the role of APP in Alzheimer's disease, and could have significant implications for future research in this area. We must now build on these findings with more research, as this is the only way we will be able to find an effective treatment for dementia."

Over 820,000 people in the UK live with dementia and one in three over 65s will die with some form of the disease. The Alzheimer's Research Trust estimates that the annual cost to the UK economy is 23 billion.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. N. D. Belyaev, K. A. B. Kellett, C. Beckett, N. Z. Makova, T. J. Revett, N. N. Nalivaeva, N. M. Hooper, A. J. Turner. The transcriptionally active amyloid precursor protein (APP) intracellular domain is preferentially produced from the 695 isoform of APP in a -secretase dependent pathway. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.141390

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "'Magic number' 695 opens up new areas for Alzheimer's research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115101139.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2010, November 15). 'Magic number' 695 opens up new areas for Alzheimer's research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115101139.htm
University of Leeds. "'Magic number' 695 opens up new areas for Alzheimer's research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115101139.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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