Navigation Links
A protein that protects against Alzheimer's?

Research on the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, to name a few, has taken a step forward thanks to the work of biological sciences Ph.D. student Sonia Do Carmo, supervised by Professor ric Rassart of the Universit du Qubec Montreal (UQAM) Biological Sciences Department, in collaboration with researchers at the Armand-Frappier Institute and the University of Valladolid in Spain.

Do Carmo and her collaborators have successfully demonstrated the protective and reparative role of apolipoprotein D, or ApoD, in neurodegenerative diseases. Their discovery suggests interesting avenues for preventing and slowing the progression of this type of illness.

These studies were inspired by work done ten years ago by Professor Rassart's team, who then discovered increased levels of ApoD in the brains of people with several types of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's. The team hypothesized that this protein might play a protective and restorative role but were unable to demonstrate this at the time.

The experiments

To establish the protective and reparative role of ApoD, the researchers used two types of genetically modified mice: one type with increased levels of ApoD in the brain and a second type with no ApoD. The mice were then exposed to neurodegenerative agents. A group of the modified mice and a control group (unmodified) were exposed to paraquat, a widely used herbicide that has been shown to increase the risk of Parkinson's. Then the same type of experiment was performed by injecting two groups with a virus that causes encephalitis. In both cases, the mice modified for increased levels of ApoD had the best outcomes, with a better ability to combat the diseases and a higher survival rate than the unmodified mice. The knockout mice with no ApoD displayed the poorest outcomes. These experiments serve to illustrate the protective and reparative role of this protein.

When can we expect medication?

A number of steps remain before this research can translate into effective drugs against neurodegenerative conditions. The original investigator, Professor ric Rassart, explains, "You cannot simply inject ApoD, as it has to enter the brain in order for it to be active. We have successfully demonstrated the role of ApoD, but now we need to understand the action of this protein. Only then will we be able to think about creating a drug to prevent these types of diseases and to slow their progression. All the same, this discovery by Sonia Do Carmo and her collaborators is a significant breakthrough, as we know very little about the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases."

The discovery has aroused considerable interest among the molecular biology community. Two major scientific journals have already published the research findings: Aging Cell (Vol. 7: 506-515, 2008) and Journal of Neuroscience (Vol. 28: 10330-10338, 2008).


Contact: Claire Bouchard
Universit du Qubec Montral

Related biology news :

1. Protein chatter linked to cancer activation
2. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
3. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
4. Low levels of key protein may indicate pancreatic cancer risk
5. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Specific brain protein required for nerve cell connections to form and function
8. NIH awards researcher $1.5 million new innovator grant for fruit-fly studies of prion proteins
9. Interacting protein theory awaits test from new neutron analysis tools
10. Depression, aging, and proteins made by a virus may all play role in heart disease
11. Census of protein architectures offers new view of history of life
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)...  A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having ... provided a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, ... of MIT and Harvard and the University of São ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that boosts ... The Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015  In this report, ... basis of product, type, application, disease indication, ... this report are consumables, services, software. The ... safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. ... are diagnostics development, drug discovery and development, ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... 4, 2015 --> ... published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - ... 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected ... 2022. The market is estimated to expand at a ... to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Bioscience, a company focused on synthetic DNA, today announced that ... as one of Foreign Policy,s 100 Leading Global ... life . Each year, Foreign Policy selects the ... changed lives and are shaping the world. ... be recognized among these incredible global leaders," said Leproust. "At ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  CardioCell LLC, a ... stem cells for cardiovascular indications, intends to proceed ... based on recommendations from a Heart Failure Advisory ... Scientific Advisory Board members . In a ... Phase IIa safety and efficacy data from CardioCell,s ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Cepheid (Nasdaq: ... its participation at the Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference in ... morning, the Company is reaffirming its outlook for the ... 2016, in addition to discussing longer term business model ... Chief Executive Officer.  "We continue to be the fastest ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Global Stem Cells Group Chile ... Central America and abroad for the first Iberoamerican Convention on Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetology ... Testart will present and discuss new trends in anti-aging stem cell treatments, regenerative ...
Breaking Biology Technology: