Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer's 'missing link' found: Promising target for new drugs

Date:
September 4, 2013
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a protein that is the missing link in the complicated chain of events that lead to Alzheimer's disease, they report in the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Neuron. Researchers also found that blocking the protein with an existing drug can restore memory in mice with brain damage that mimics the disease.

Scientists found that blocking a protein with an existing drug can restore memory in mice with brain damage that mimics Alzheimer's.
Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University

Yale School of Medicine researchers have discovered a protein that is the missing link in the complicated chain of events that lead to Alzheimer's disease, they report in the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Neuron. Researchers also found that blocking the protein with an existing drug can restore memory in mice with brain damage that mimics the disease.

"What is very exciting is that of all the links in this molecular chain, this is the protein that may be most easily targeted by drugs," said Stephen Strittmatter, the Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology and senior author of the study. "This gives us strong hope that we can find a drug that will work to lessen the burden of Alzheimer's."

Scientists have already provided a partial molecular map of how Alzheimer's disease destroys brain cells. In earlier work, Strittmatter's lab showed that the amyloid-beta peptides, which are a hallmark of Alzheimer's, couple with prion proteins on the surface of neurons. By an unknown process, the coupling activates a molecular messenger within the cell called Fyn.

In the Neuron paper, the Yale team reveals the missing link in the chain, a protein within the cell membrane called metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 or mGluR5. When the protein is blocked by a drug similar to one being developed for Fragile X syndrome, the deficits in memory, learning, and synapse density were restored in a mouse model of Alzheimer's.

Strittmatter stressed that new drugs may have to be designed to precisely target the amyloid-prion disruption of mGluR5 in human cases of Alzheimer's and said his lab is exploring new ways to achieve this.

Other Yale authors are Ji Won Um, Adam C. Kaufman, Mikhail Kostylev, Jacqueline K. Heiss, Massimiliano Stagi, Hideyuki Takahashi, Meghan E. Kerrisk, Alexander Vortmeyer, Thomas Wisniewski, Anthony J. Koleske, Erik C. Gunther and Haakon B. Nygaard.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Bill Hathaway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. JiWon Um, AdamC. Kaufman, Mikhail Kostylev, JacquelineK. Heiss, Massimiliano Stagi, Hideyuki Takahashi, MeghanE. Kerrisk, Alexander Vortmeyer, Thomas Wisniewski, AnthonyJ. Koleske, ErikC. Gunther, HaakonB. Nygaard, StephenM. Strittmatter. Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 Is a Coreceptor for Alzheimer Aβ Oligomer Bound to Cellular Prion Protein. Neuron, 2013; 79 (5): 887 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.06.036

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Alzheimer's 'missing link' found: Promising target for new drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130904130328.htm>.
Yale University. (2013, September 4). Alzheimer's 'missing link' found: Promising target for new drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130904130328.htm
Yale University. "Alzheimer's 'missing link' found: Promising target for new drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130904130328.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. 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