Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research opens new pathway for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Summary:
Scientists in Belgium have discovered a new target molecule for the development of a treatment against Alzheimer’s disease. There is currently no cure for this disease. Many candidate drugs fail because they also target proteins essential to life. This discovery could form a target for a treatment against Alzheimer’s disease with fewer side effects and that suppresses the very first symptoms of the disease.

Scientists from VIB and KU Leuven have discovered a new target molecule for the development of a treatment against Alzheimer's disease. There is currently no cure for this disease. Many candidate drugs fail because they also target proteins essential to life. This discovery from Leuven could form a target for a treatment against Alzheimer's disease with fewer side effects and that suppresses the very first symptoms of the disease.

This research will be published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia in the West. The damage to memory and mental function causes one of the most terrifying clinical pictures. The current drugs for Alzheimer patients support memory for a short time, but they do not stop the death of brain cells. Recent insights have shown that Alzheimer's disease causes biochemical changes in the brain many years before the symptoms of dementia are present. It is very important to develop drugs that can be taken at this early stage in order to prevent the disease.

The ɣ-secretase complex

Many candidate drugs have an effect on the ɣ-secretase complex. This complex cuts proteins at specific sites and plays an important role in the development of amyloid plaques, a pathological hallmark in of the brains of Alzheimer patients. Aberrant and excessive cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by the g-secretase complex results in the accumulation and deposition of the b-amyloid protein in amyloid plaques.

However, the ɣ-secretase complex is also involved in cleavage of a series of other proteins essential to life. As a result, many candidate drugs that act on the ɣ-secretase complex produce toxic side effects.

GPCRs and β-arrestin

GPCRs are a family of proteins that serve as the targets of the majority of all currently marketed drugs. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2012 was awarded to Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Brian Kobilka for their groundbreaking work in this field and the many medical applications of this knowledge. It is known that GPCRs also play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, but it is not yet clear how GPCRs regulate the ɣ-secretase complex.

β-arrestins are a family of proteins that classically block or limit GPCR activation; however, it has been recently appreciated that b-arrestins also have additional functions. Therefore, Amantha Thathiah set up a study under the supervision of Bart De Strooper to examine the involvement of β-arrestins in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The scientists succeeded for the first time in demonstrating that β-arrestin 2 plays a role in regulation of the ɣ-secretase complex function and in the development of Alzheimer's disease in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model. More specifically, β-arrestin 2 interacts with two GPCRs that are known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, expression of b-arrestin 2 is also elevated in individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Impact of the research

This research opens a new pathway for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. b-arrestin 2 inhibition could be beneficial in prevention of the adverse side effects currently associated with γ-secretase inhibition. Therefore, this study provides a previously unexplored avenue for the development of a treatment that can act at a very early stage of Alzheimer's disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amantha Thathiah, Katrien Horrι, An Snellinx, Elke Vandewyer, Yunhong Huang, Marta Ciesielska, Gerdien De Kloe, Sebastian Munck, Bart De Strooper. β-arrestin 2 regulates Aβ generation and γ-secretase activity in Alzheimer's disease. Nature Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3023

Cite This Page:

VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Research opens new pathway for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203112437.htm>.
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). (2012, December 3). Research opens new pathway for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203112437.htm
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Research opens new pathway for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203112437.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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