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 November 24, 2014 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 November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. 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