Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New understanding of cellular activity can lead to future strategies for dealing with neurodegenerative diseases

Date:
December 6, 2012
Source:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
A new understanding of what takes place on the cellular level during the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS and Huntington’s diseases, offers promise towards possible new strategies for combating such diseases, say researchers.

A new understanding of what takes place on the cellular level during the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS and Huntington's diseases, offers promise towards possible new strategies for combating such diseases, say Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers.

Neurodegenerative conditions result from an impairment of motor function or cognitive function or both. This impairment results from degeneration in the particular area of the brain responsible for those functions.

Although these neurodegenerative diseases have been functionally linked to toxic protein aggregation (deposits), there is much that is unknown about the mechanism through which aggregation causes toxicity and death at the cellular level. Inclusion bodies -- structures composed of pathogenic protein aggregates -- have long been seen as a hallmark of disease, but the relationship between inclusions and disease has remained somewhat mysterious.

In a study published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US). Hebrew University researchers (working in the lab of Dr. Daniel Kaganovich in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department, together with collaborators) present evidence that suggests that these inclusion bodies, which have traditionally been thought to accompany disease onset,actually have a cell-biological function that is not necessarily related to the disease conditions.

Further, the researchers suggest that some of those inclusion bodies not only are not toxic, but actually are part of a natural protective process. The researchers have identified two inclusion bodies, which they call JUNQ and IPOD. Aggregation in the JUNQ can lead to toxicity, whereas aggregation in the IPOD is protective.

These findings, say the Hebrew University researchers, point up a new potential strategy for designing therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease. Instead of preventing proteins from aggregating, which can be very difficult, it may be possible to enhance the cellular ability to actively enclose harmful aggregates within protective inclusions, thereby neutralizing the toxic proteins that bring on further neurodegenerative damage and even death.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. J. Weisberg, R. Lyakhovetsky, A.-c. Werdiger, A. D. Gitler, Y. Soen, D. Kaganovich. Compartmentalization of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1G93A) aggregates determines their toxicity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; 109 (39): 15811 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1205829109

Cite This Page:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "New understanding of cellular activity can lead to future strategies for dealing with neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206094454.htm>.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2012, December 6). New understanding of cellular activity can lead to future strategies for dealing with neurodegenerative diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206094454.htm
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "New understanding of cellular activity can lead to future strategies for dealing with neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206094454.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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