Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overlooked peptide reveals clues to causes of Alzheimer's disease

Date:
July 5, 2011
Source:
RIKEN
Summary:
Researchers have shed light on the function of a little-studied amyloid peptide in promoting Alzheimer's disease (AD). Their surprising findings reveal that the peptide is more abundant, more neurotoxic and exhibits a higher propensity to aggregate than amyloidogenic agents studied in earlier research, suggesting a potential role in new approaches for preventing AD-causing amyloidosis.

Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) and their collaborators have shed light on the function of a little-studied amyloid peptide in promoting Alzheimer's disease (AD). Their surprising findings reveal that the peptide is more abundant, more neurotoxic, and exhibits a higher propensity to aggregate than amyloidogenic agents studied in earlier research, suggesting a potential role in new approaches for preventing AD-causing amyloidosis.

An irreversible, progressive brain disease affecting millions worldwide, Alzheimer's disease is devastating for its victims, robbing them of their memory and cognitive skills and ultimately of their lives. Even after decades of research, however, the causes of AD remain elusive. Two features in the brain, abnormal clumps (senile plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles), are known to characterize AD, but there is little consensus on the link between these features and the underlying roots of the disease.

One hypothesis that has attracted widespread support proposes that AD is caused by the buildup of the senile plaques, and in particular of their main constituent, amyloid-β peptides (Aβ). Two major forms of Aβ, Aβ40 and Aβ42, have been associated with genetic mutations causing early-onset AD, and have thus received considerable research attention. The role of longer Aβ species, in contrast, which also exist in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, has not yet been fully investigated.

In their current work, the researchers focused on Aβ43, an amyloid-β peptide found just as often in patient brains as Aβ42, but about which relatively little is known. To study the peptide's role in AD, they generated mice with a mutation causing overproduction of Aβ43, and used a highly sensitive system to distinguish between concentrations of Aβ40, Aβ42 and Aβ43.

Their surprising results reveal that Aβ43 is even more abundant in the brains of AD patients than Aβ40, and more neurotoxic than Aβ42. Aβ43 also exhibits the highest propensity to aggregate and considerably accelerates amyloid pathology. Moreover, unlike the other two Aβ species, which exist in human and mouse brains at birth, Aβ43 levels appear to increase with age, consistent with the pattern of AD onset.

Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the findings thus reveal the possible value of Aβ43 as a biomarker for diagnosis of AD and suggest a potential role in new approaches for preventing AD-causing amyloidosis, promising hope to AD sufferers around the world.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Takashi Saito, Takahiro Suemoto, Nathalie Brouwers, Kristel Sleegers, Satoru Funamoto, Naomi Mihira, Yukio Matsuba, Kazuyuki Yamada, Per Nilsson, Jiro Takano, Masaki Nishimura, Nobuhisa Iwata, Christine Van Broeckhoven, Yasuo Ihara & Takaomi C Saido. Potent amyloidogenicity and pathogenicity of Aβ43. Nature Neuroscience, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nn.2858

Cite This Page:

RIKEN. "Overlooked peptide reveals clues to causes of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110703133840.htm>.
RIKEN. (2011, July 5). Overlooked peptide reveals clues to causes of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110703133840.htm
RIKEN. "Overlooked peptide reveals clues to causes of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110703133840.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. 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