Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer's brains found to have lower levels of key protein

Date:
September 1, 2011
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Researchers have found that a protein variation linked by some genetic studies to Alzheimer's disease is consistently present in the actual brains of people with Alzheimer's. In further biochemical and cell culture investigations, they have shown that this protein, known as ubiquilin-1, performs a critical Alzheimer's-related function: it "chaperones" the formation of amyloid precursor protein, a molecule whose malformation has been directly tied to Alzheimer's pathology.

Researchers have found that a protein variation linked by some genetic studies to Alzheimer's disease is consistently present in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. In further biochemical and cell culture investigations, they have shown that this protein, known as ubiquilin-1, performs a critical Alzheimer's-related function: it "chaperones" the formation of amyloid precursor protein, a molecule whose malformation has been directly tied to Alzheimer's pathology.

"What we saw here is that in all 20 of the Alzheimer's brains we examined the ubiquilin-1 protein level was lower, and that's completely new," said University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston assistant professor Josι Barral, co-author of a paper on the study now online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "Our experiments looked at the consequences of decreased ubiquilin-1, and showed that it's necessary for the proper handling of amyloid precursor protein."

APP has been a major focus of Alzheimer's investigators for almost two decades, ever since scientists identified it as the source of so-called "protein plaques," abnormal aggregations of proteins nearly always found in the brains of Alzheimer's victims. Ubiquilin-1's significance was revealed after the UTMB researchers established ubiquilin-1's status as a chaperone protein for APP.

In the origami-like folding process by which proteins arrive at their proper shape, chaperone proteins act as, well, chaperones: they bind to their client proteins and make sure they don't misbehave.

The kind of APP misbehavior Alzheimer's researchers are most concerned about is the formation of toxic aggregations of the protein or its breakdown products, both inside and outside brain cells. Through a series of biochemical and cell-culture experiments, the UTMB team was able to show that ubiquilin-1 decreased this aggregation.

"Ubiquilin-1 prevents the APP molecule from falling into a conformation it's not supposed to be in," said UTMB associate professor Darren Boehning, co-author of the Journal of Biological Chemistry paper. "This fits with a theme we're seeing across the neurodegenerative disorders and the disorders of aging -- the idea that many of these disorders are associated with decreased quality control by chaperones."

Other authors of the Journal of Biological Chemistry paper include graduate student Emily Stieren, research scientist Amina El Ayadi, graduate student Yao Xiao, graduate student Efraνn Siller, Professor Andres Oberhauser and Assistant Professor Megan Landsverk of Baylor College of Medicine. The National Institutes of Health and the Jean C. and William D. Willis Neuroscience Research Endowment supported this work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. S. Stieren, A. El Ayadi, Y. Xiao, E. Siller, M. L. Landsverk, A. F. Oberhauser, J. M. Barral, D. Boehning. Ubiquilin-1 is a molecular chaperone for the amyloid precursor protein. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.243147

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Alzheimer's brains found to have lower levels of key protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901112537.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2011, September 1). Alzheimer's brains found to have lower levels of key protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901112537.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Alzheimer's brains found to have lower levels of key protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901112537.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) — New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) — New Hampshire's governor declared a state of emergency after more than 40 overdoses of synthetic marijuana in one week throughout the state. 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