Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yeast used to detect proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases

Date:
February 2, 2011
Source:
Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers have developed and patented a method using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to detect in human proteins the formation of oligomers, small toxic aggregations of molecules which can initiate the assembly of amyloid fibers found in neurodegenerative diseases. The test allows validating the efficacy of compounds which could dissolve or inhibit these aggregates, as well as studying at basic level the therapeutic potentiality of a large number of molecules.

Researchers from the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine and the UAB Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have developed and patented a method using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to detect in human proteins the formation of oligomers, small toxic aggregations of molecules which can initiate the assembly of amyloid fibres found in neurodegenerative diseases. The test allows validating the efficacy of compounds which could dissolve or inhibit these aggregates, as well as studying at basic level the therapeutic potentiality of a large number of molecules.

Oligomers are formed by the union of two to twenty molecules. Recent research studies seem to indicate that their toxicity is higher than that of amyloid fibres. However, studying these substances is not easy given that they are unstable and their formations are transitory.

The method developed by researchers at UAB locates and monitors in vivo the aggregation process of the protein using fluorescence techniques and without the need to resort to alternative methods. It also allows studying compounds which inhibit oligomers as potentially therapeutic mechanisms to prevent posterior formations of amyloid plaques.

The screening system was carried out by genetically modifying Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to link human protein aggregation to cell death. It is based on the fusion of the human peptide under study with the human variant of a protein needed for the survival of the modified yeast, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). The aggregation of the peptide deactivates the DHFR protein and finally produces the death of the cell, thereby providing a detection system of molecules with tendency to aggregate and in which any compound capable of separating or inhibiting this aggregation would favour the survival of the cell.

Researchers carried out the study with the AB42 peptide, the main cause of Alzheimer's disease. To validate the test they worked with several compounds in vitro which, in studies related to the disease, had demonstrated to be effective against the formation of oligomers, amyloid fibres or both types of molecules. The system only showed to be effective with compounds affecting oligomers, which makes it a very specific method for the initial detection of the aggregation process. The system was also validated with chaperones, a group of proteins which increase the dissolution of protein aggregation and favour cell survival. In addition to AB42, researchers validated the assay with regard to the detection of initial aggregations, by using proteins involved in Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

According to Salvador Ventura, one of the authors of the study, the system is easy to use and allows scientists to work quickly and to analyse with reliability the potential therapeutic efficacy of an infinite number of compounds at experimental level. Now there is the need to automate the system -- with plates allowing for the simultaneous analysis of more than fifty molecules per assay -- to be used in basic research. For the moment the system has been patented by the researchers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Montse Morell, Natalia S. de Groot, Josep Vendrell, Francesc X. Avilés, Salvador Ventura. Linking amyloid protein aggregation and yeast survival. Molecular BioSystems, 2011; DOI: 10.1039/c0mb00297f

Cite This Page:

Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. "Yeast used to detect proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201083926.htm>.
Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. (2011, February 2). Yeast used to detect proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201083926.htm
Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. "Yeast used to detect proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201083926.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. 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