Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New protein linked to Alzheimer's disease

Date:
May 25, 2011
Source:
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a molecule called c-Abl that has a known role in leukemia also has a hand in Alzheimer's disease.

After decades of studying the pathological process that wipes out large volumes of memory, scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research discovered a molecule called c-Abl that has a known role in leukemia also has a hand in Alzheimer's disease. The finding, reported in the June 14th issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, offers a new target for drug development that could stave off the pathological disease process.

Peter Davies, PhD, head of the Feinstein Institute's Litwin-Zucker Center for Research in Alzheimer's Disease, became interested in c-Abl when he found that the protein was part of the plaques and tangles that crowd the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The protein c-Abl is a tyrosine kinase involved in cell differentiation, cell division and cell adhesion. In patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), c-Abl is turned up in B cells. Inhibiting c-Abl with the cancer drug Gleevec prevents cell division. There was quite a lot known about c-Abl when Dr. Davies began thinking about its possible role in Alzheimer's. He was looking at kinases that phosphorylate tau, the protein that accumulates inside of the neurons during the disease process.

Dr. Davies questioned whether activated c-Abl turned on the cell cycle and could kill adult cells. He designed the study to test this idea and found that turning on the cell cycle in adult brain damages the cells. In their current study, the investigators devised a clever way to activate c-Abl in neurons of normal adult mice. They turned on human c-Abl genes in two different regions -- the hippocampus and the neocortex -- in adult mice and discovered abundant cell death, especially in the hippocampus. "You don't even need to count, you can just look and see holes in the cell layers of the hippocampus," said Dr. Davies. "It is stunning. Even before the neurons die, there is florid inflammation."

He said that the animal model is ideal for testing the benefit of drugs that turn off c-Abl. While Gleevec works in CML, it does not cross the blood-brain barrier so it would not be useful. Dr. Davies and his colleagues are looking for other drugs that inhibit c-Abl and can get into the brain. "We have a great model to test compounds for Alzheimer's disease. Will regulating c-Abl make a difference for patients? We won't know unless we try it in double blind clinical trials."

The researchers are now working to understand the mechanism of cell death. They are also investigating why males die considerably sooner than females -- 12 to 15 weeks compared to 24 to 26 weeks. "It is an incredibly interesting model," said Dr. Davies. "If c-Abl is important we can learn how it works."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. "New protein linked to Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110524153538.htm>.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. (2011, May 25). New protein linked to Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110524153538.htm
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. "New protein linked to Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110524153538.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. 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:

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