Navigation Links
A micro-RNA as a key regulator of learning and Alzheimer's disease
Date:9/23/2011

This release is available in German.

Gttingen, September 23rd, 2011. Proteins are the molecular machines of the cell. They transport materials, cleave products or transmit signals and for a long time, they have been a main focus of attention in molecular biology research. In the last two decades, however, another class of critically important molecules has emerged: small RNA molecules, including micro-RNAs. It is now well established that micro-RNAs play a key role in the regulation of cell function."A micro-RNA regulates the production of an estimated 300-400 proteins. This class of molecules can be regarded as a switch that coordinates the transition of cells from one state to another," explains Prof. Dr. Andr Fischer, scientist at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Speaker of the DZNE site Gttingen. He and his team have identified a micro-RNA that regulates the learning processes and probably plays a central role in Alzheimer's disease. The researchers have shown that there is too much of a micro-RNA called "miRNA 34c" in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, and decreasing the level of miRNA 34c in these mice can restore their learning ability. The scientists have identified a new target molecule that might be important for diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The studies were carried out in collaboration with scientists at the European Neuroscience Institute Gttingen, the Gttingen University, the DZNE site in Munich and researchers from Switzerland, USA and Brazil.

miRNA 34c was identified using a highly complex method called "massive parallel sequencing". With this technology, Fischer and his colleagues captured the complete RNA composition in the hippocampus the learning region of the brain and compared this with the RNA of the entire brain. They showed that miRNA 34c is enriched in the hippocampus, especially in during the time window of a few hours after a learning phase. "We suspect that the function of micro-RNA 34c is to switch off a whole range of gene products that are turned on in the learning process," Fischer said. Too much miRNA 34c would then lead to a blockade of learning which is exactly what was shown in subsequent experiments. In old mice, which do not learn as easily as their younger counterparts, there was indeed too much miRNA 34c. The miRNA-34c level was also elevated in mice that are used as specific research models of Alzheimer's disease. These mice carry a genetic mutation that can cause Alzheimer's in humans and show disturbances of memory function. Moreover, miRNA 34c seems to not only play a role in mice. Fischer and his colleagues showed these levels are also elevated in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

In further mouse experiments, the researchers showed that miRNA 34c is actually causally involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and memory disorders. An artificial increase of miRNA-34c level in normal mice results in memory impairment in the animals. Secondly, as Fischer and his colleagues have shown, lowering miRNA-34c levels can restore learning ability in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and in older mice. "Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's are associated with many factors. We hope that with the identification of micro-RNA 34c, we have found an important mediator of pathogenesis," says Fischer. "Micro-RNA 34c would then be a good candidate for the development of drugs against Alzheimer's."


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Bayer
daniel.bayer@dzne.de
49-228-433-02261
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Micro-RNA blocks the effect of insulin in obesity
2. New evidence in plants shows micro-RNA can move
3. Cancer proteins surprising role as memory regulator
4. Unraveling a new regulator of cystic fibrosis
5. Genome-wide hunts reveal new regulators of blood pressure
6. Systech International and Zetes Partner to Meet Europes Emerging Pharmaceutical Regulatory Requirements
7. Syracuse University biologist discovers key regulators for biofilm development
8. Medusa-structure of gene regulatory network: Dominance of transcription factors in cancer subtypes
9. Novel regulatory process for T cells may help explain immune system diseases
10. Saint Louis University investigators perfect new version of blood-regulator thrombin
11. Key enzyme discovered to be master regulator in protein-protein reactions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... PUNE, India , February 10, 2016 ... --> According to 2016 iris ... fingerprint identification iris recognition is more widely ... are available with both fingerprint and iris ... allows the user to avoid purchasing two ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 The field ... one of the most popular hubs of the ... and other huge studies of human microbiota, have ... few years, the microbiome space has literally exploded ... research. This report focuses on biomedical aspects ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in hospitals ... medical screening and diagnostic applications, such as ... that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring without ... being bolstered through new opportunities offered by ... coupled with wireless connectivity and low power ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , February 11, 2016 ... Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: PSID), a life ... today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, which markets the ... its growth plan in January 2016, including entering ... increasing sequential monthly sales growth, and establishing several ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader ... & Co. Ltd., its partner in the ... an additional CDN$25 million in the joint venture for ... to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a stronger role ... Sarnia , providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that it has joined the Human ... and immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer. , The Human Vaccines ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY ... of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, ... more than 100 tables for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: