Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules

Date:
April 24, 2012
Source:
Linköping Universitet
Summary:
Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers. The originators, at Linköping University in Sweden, has now shown that the same molecules can also render the prions harmless, and potentially cure fatal nerve-destroying illnesses.

Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers. The originators, at Linköping University in Sweden, has now shown that the same molecules can also render the prions harmless, and potentially cure fatal nerve-destroying illnesses.

Related Articles


Linköping researchers and their colleagues at the University Hospital in Zürich tested the luminescent conjugated polymers, or LCPs, on tissue sections from the brains of mice that had been infected with prions. The results show that the number of prions, as well as their toxicity and infectibility, decreased drastically. This is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate the possibility of treating illnesses such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jacobs with LCP molecules.

"When we see this effect on prion infections, we believe the same approach could work on Alzheimer's disease as well," says Peter Nilsson, researcher in Bioorganic Chemistry funded by ERC, the European Research Council.

Along with professors Per Hammarström and Adriano Aguzzi and others, he is now publishing the results in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Prions are diseased forms of normally occurring proteins in the brain. When they clump together in large aggregates, nerve cells in the surrounding area are affected, which leads to serious brain damage and a quick death. Prion illnesses can be inherited, occur spontaneously or through infection, for example through infected meat -- as was the case with mad cow disease.

The course of the illness is relentless when the prions fall to pieces and replicate at an exponential rate. When researchers inserted the LCP molecules into their model system, the replication was arrested, possible through stabilizing the prion aggregates.

The variable components in an LCP are various chemical subgroups attached onto the polymer. In the published study, eight different substances were tested, and all of them had significant effect on the toxicity of the prions.

"Based on these results, we can now customise entirely new molecules with potentially even better effect. These are now being tested on animal models," Nilsson says.

Researchers want to go even further and test whether the molecules will function on fruit flies with an Alzheimer's-like nerve disorder. Alzheimer's is caused by what is known as amyloid plaque, which has a similar but slower course than prion diseases.

The study is part of the EU LUPAS project with participants from Sweden, Switzerland, France, Israel, Norway, and Germany. The coordinator is Per Hammarström, at Linköping University.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. I. Margalith, C. Suter, B. Ballmer, P. Schwarz, C. Tiberi, T. Sonati, J. Falsig, S. Nystrom, P. Hammarstrom, A. Aslund, K. P. R. Nilsson, A. Yam, E. Whitters, S. Hornemann, A. Aguzzi. Polythiophenes inhibit prion propagation by stabilizing PrP aggregates. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.355958

Cite This Page:

Linköping Universitet. "Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424095704.htm>.
Linköping Universitet. (2012, April 24). Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424095704.htm
Linköping Universitet. "Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424095704.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) — Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) — Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) — Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. 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