Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Researchers find chemical 'switches' for neurodegenerative diseases

27.11.2012
Huntington's is the disease most directly related to the chemical chain involved

By using a model, researchers at the University of Montreal have identified and "switched off" a chemical chain that causes neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dementia.

The findings could one day be of particular therapeutic benefit to Huntington's disease patients. "We've identified a new way to protect neurons that express mutant huntingtin proteins," explained Dr. Alex Parker of the University of Montreal's Department of Pathology and Cell Biology and its affiliated CRCHUM Research Centre. A cardinal feature of Huntington's disease – a fatal genetic disease that typically affects patients in midlife and causes progressive death of specific areas of the brain – is the aggregation of mutant huntingtin protein in cells.

"Our model revealed that increasing another cell chemical called progranulin reduced the death of neurons by combating the accumulation of the mutant proteins. Furthermore, this approach may protect against neurodegenerative diseases other than Huntington's disease."

There is no cure for Huntingdon's disease and current strategies show only modest benefits, and a component of the protein aggregates involved are also present in other degenerative diseases. "My team and I wondered if the proteins in question, TDP-43 and FUS, were just innocent bystanders or if they affected the toxicity caused by mutant huntingtin," Dr. Parker said.

To answer this question, Dr. Parker and University of Montreal doctoral student Arnaud Tauffenberger turned to a simple genetic model based on the expression of mutant huntingtin in the nervous system of the transparent roundworm C. elegans. A large number of human disease genes are conserved in worms, and C. elegans in particular enables researchers to rapidly conduct genetic analyses that would not be possible in mammals.

Dr. Parker's team found that deleting the TDP-43 and FUS genes, which produce the proteins of the same name, reduced neurodegeneration caused by mutant huntingtin. They then confirmed their findings in the cell of a mammal cell, again by using models. The next step was then to determining how neuroprotection works. TDP-43 targets a chemical called progranulin, a protein linked to dementia. "We demonstrated that removing progranulin from either worms or cells enhanced huntingtin toxicity, but increasing progranulin reduced cell death in mammalian neurons. This points towards progranulin as a potent neuroprotective agent against mutant huntingtin neurodegeneration," Dr. Parker said. The researchers will need to do further testing this in more complex biological models to determine if the same chemical switches work in all mammals. If they do, then progranulin treatment may slow disease onset or progression in Huntington's disease patients.

William Raillant-Clark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Neue Einblicke in die Materie: Hochdruckforschung in Kombination mit NMR-Spektroskopie

Forschern der Universität Bayreuth und des Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) ist es erstmals gelungen, die magnetische Kernresonanzspektroskopie (NMR) in Experimenten anzuwenden, bei denen Materialproben unter sehr hohen Drücken – ähnlich denen im unteren Erdmantel – analysiert werden. Das in der Zeitschrift Science Advances vorgestellte Verfahren verspricht neue Erkenntnisse über Elementarteilchen, die sich unter hohen Drücken oft anders verhalten als unter Normalbedingungen. Es wird voraussichtlich technologische Innovationen fördern, aber auch neue Einblicke in das Erdinnere und die Erdgeschichte, insbesondere die Bedingungen für die Entstehung von Leben, ermöglichen.

Diamanten setzen Materie unter Hochdruck

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Stabile Quantenbits

Physiker aus Konstanz, Princeton und Maryland schaffen ein stabiles Quantengatter als Grundelement für den Quantencomputer

Meilenstein auf dem Weg zum Quantencomputer: Wissenschaftler der Universität Konstanz, der Princeton University sowie der University of Maryland entwickeln ein...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Innovative Strategien zur Bekämpfung von parasitären Würmern

08.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Hohe Heilungschancen bei Lymphomen im Kindesalter

07.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Der Roboter im Pflegeheim – bald Wirklichkeit?

05.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Mit Quantenmechanik zu neuen Solarzellen: Forschungspreis für Bayreuther Physikerin

12.12.2017 | Förderungen Preise

Stottern: Stoppsignale im Gehirn verhindern flüssiges Sprechen

12.12.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

E-Mobilität: Neues Hybridspeicherkonzept soll Reichweite und Leistung erhöhen

12.12.2017 | Energie und Elektrotechnik