Navigation Links
Molecule that spurs cell's recycling center may help Alzheimer's patients
Date:3/16/2011

Cells, which employ a process called autophagy to clean up and reuse protein debris leftover from biological processes, were the original recyclers. A team of scientists from Paul Greengard's Rockefeller University laboratory have linked a molecule that stimulates autophagy with the reduction of one of Alzheimer's disease's major hallmarks, amyloid peptide. Their finding suggests a mechanism that could be used to eliminate built-up proteins in diseases such as Alzheimer's, Down syndrome, Huntingdon's and Parkinson's.

The molecule, called SMER28, spurs autophagy, which in turn eliminates unwanted materials such as amyloid-beta, the protein aggregates that cause Alzheimer's plaques. Increasing autophagy, either through a drug or a natural process such as diet, could improve the outcome for people with neurodegenerative diseases, the researchers report in the FASEB Journal.

"Much effort has been carried out to prevent the formation of amyloid-beta without much success," says Greengard, who is Vincent Astor Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. "In order to develop better-suited therapies, alternative approaches are clearly needed. One approach would be the identification of potential therapeutic targets that enhance the removal of amyloid-beta, for example, by increasing autophagy."

Most prior strategies to develop Alzheimer's disease drugs were designed to inhibit the formation of the toxic amyloid-beta. Greengard, who directs the Fisher Center for Research on Alzheimer's Disease at Rockefeller, and his colleagues propose a radically different approach: boosting a cellular mechanism to enhance their clearance. This approach, says Marc Flajolet, a research assistant professor in Greengard's lab, may also be beneficial for targeting a hallmark of advanced Alzheimer's disease, twisted fibers of tau protein that build up inside nerve cells and cause tangles.

The researchers, led by Yuan Tian, a postdoctoral fellow in Greengard's lab, tested various compounds for their ability to reduce the buildup of amyloid-beta by exposing cultured cells to compounds known to activate autophagy. They then compared the effect of these compounds by removing growth factors from the culture medium, a well-established stimulant of autophagy known as "starvation."

The researchers found that SMER28 was the most effective compound, and focused their studies on it to characterize the cellular components involved in this phenomenon. They compared the effect of SMER28 on amyloid-beta formation using normal cells or cells where the expression of genes known to be involved in autophagy was reduced or abolished. They found that three important autophagic players were involved, and one of them was essential for SMER28's effect.

Identifying a cure for Alzheimer's disease remains a major challenge. Four drugs are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Alzheimer patients. Unfortunately none of these drugs halt progression of the disease and their impact on cognitive defects are minimal. On top of that, current strategies are associated with severe side effects. This limitation was highlighted recently by failures in various clinical trials.

"Our work demonstrates that small molecules can be developed as therapies, by activating a cellular function called autophagy, to prevent Alzheimer's disease," says Flajolet. "By increasing our understanding of autophagy, it might be possible to stimulate it, pharmacologically or naturally, to improve the quality of life for aging people."

The results also suggest the power of diet to prevent damage to neurons. It has been known that a low calorie diet is beneficial for longer life expectancy as well as for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. "Our results suggest that a low calorie diet might lead to a higher autophagy activity that might delay or prevent aging and neurodegenerative diseases," says Flajolet.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joseph Bonner
bonnerj@rockefeller.edu
212-327-8998
Rockefeller University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 3-D tracking of single molecules inside cells
2. Immune molecule regulates brain connections
3. Missing sugar molecule raises diabetes risk in humans
4. Metallic molecules to nanotubes: Spread out!
5. Manipulating molecules for a new breed of electronics
6. Residual dipolar couplings unveil structure of small molecules
7. Scripps Research scientist discovers natural molecule indirectly prevents stable clot formation
8. New molecule could save brain cells from neurodegeneration, stroke
9. Missing molecules hold promise of therapy for pancreatic cancer
10. Unraveling Alzheimers: Simple small molecules could untangle complex disease
11. Plants remember winter to bloom in spring with help of special molecule
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, ... which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ... will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of ... trends in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply ... a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both ... Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: