Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in brain

Date:
August 23, 2013
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
Scientists have found a way that corrupted, disease-causing proteins spread in the brain, potentially contributing to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain-damaging disorders.

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a way that corrupted, disease-causing proteins spread in the brain, potentially contributing to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other brain-damaging disorders.

Related Articles


The research identifies a specific type of receptor and suggests that blocking it may aid treatment of theses illnesses. The receptors are called heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs).

"Many of the enzymes that create HSPGs or otherwise help them function are good targets for drug treatments," said senior author Marc I. Diamond, MD, the David Clayson Professor of Neurology. "We ultimately should be able to hit these enzymes with drugs and potentially disrupt several neurodegenerative conditions."

The study is available online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Over the last decade, Diamond has gathered evidence that Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases spread through the brain in a fashion similar to conditions such as mad cow disease, which are caused by misfolded proteins known as prions.

Proteins are long chains of amino acids that perform many basic biological functions. A protein's abilities are partially determined by the way it folds into a 3-D shape. Prions are proteins that have become folded in a fashion that makes them harmful.

Prions spread across the brain by causing other copies of the same protein to misfold.

Among the most infamous prion diseases are mad cow disease, which rapidly destroys the brain in cows, and a similar, inherited condition in humans called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Diamond and his colleagues have shown that a part of nerve cells' inner structure known as tau protein can misfold into a configuration called an amyloid. These corrupted versions of tau stick to each other in clumps within the cells. Like prions, the clumps spread from one cell to another, seeding further spread by causing copies of tau protein in the new cell to become amyloids.

In the new study, first author Brandon Holmes, an MD/PhD student, showed that HSPGs are essential for binding, internalizing and spreading clumps of tau. When he genetically disabled or chemically modified the HSPGs in cell cultures and in a mouse model, clumps of tau could not enter cells, thus inhibiting the spread of misfolded tau from cell to cell.

Holmes also found that HSPGs are essential for the cell-to-cell spread of corrupted forms of alpha-synuclein, a protein linked to Parkinson's disease.

"This suggests that it may one day be possible to unify our understanding and treatment of two or more broad classes of neurodegenerative disease," Diamond said.

"We're now sorting through about 15 genes to determine which are the most essential for HSPGs' interaction with tau," Holmes said. "That will tell us which proteins to target with new drug treatments."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. The original article was written by Michael C. Purdy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. B. Holmes, S. L. DeVos, N. Kfoury, M. Li, R. Jacks, K. Yanamandra, M. O. Ouidja, F. M. Brodsky, J. Marasa, D. P. Bagchi, P. T. Kotzbauer, T. M. Miller, D. Papy-Garcia, M. I. Diamond. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans mediate internalization and propagation of specific proteopathic seeds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; 110 (33): E3138 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1301440110

Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130823090947.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2013, August 23). Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130823090947.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130823090947.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
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