Navigation Links
New approach to Alzheimer's therapy

The brains of Alzheimer patients have high accumulations of the material beta-amyloid, which appear in the form of plaques. The precursors of these plaques are believed to be the underlying cause of the nerve cell loss that leads to the disruptions in memory that characterize Alzheimer's disease. The main aim of many Alzheimer therapies is therefore to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid. Since beta-amyloid is cleaved from the so-called amyloid precursor protein (APP), scientists have focused on stopping the two enzymes that attack the precursor protein. These act like molecular scissors and cut out the beta-amyloid fragment. Blocking these scissors precludes the formation of beta-amyloid.

DZNE and LMU researchers have succeeded in identifying an enzyme known as alpha secretase, which cleaves the amyloid precursor protein (APP) without forming beta-amyloid. Up to this point three different candidates for this function had been under consideration, but the research team has now been able to show that the enzyme ADAM10 alone is responsible for the specific cleavage. Dr. Stefan Lichtenthaler and his team developed highly specific antibodies that can identify the different cleavage products of the precursor protein in the brain cells of mice and in human cell cultures. Using a special technique called RNA interference, the researchers managed to block each of the three genes that code for the three ADAM enzymes under suspicion. An analysis of the cleavage products revealed that the ADAM10 gene was the only one able to prevent the formation of beta-amyloids. They confirmed their results using mass spectrometry.

"In ADAM10 we have identified a target molecule that plays a central role in the development of the molecular processes in Alzheimer's disease. We know that ADAM10 is less active in Alzheimer patients," says Dr. Lichtenthaler. When ADAM10 is less active, the precursor protein is more likely to be cleaved in a way that promotes the formation of beta-amyloids.

"It is possible that less ADAM10 activity could increase susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease. If that is the case, stimulating ADAM10 could be an important mechanism for therapy. But our antibodies also open up new possibilities for diagnosing and preventing the disease," says Lichtenthaler. The antibodies could be used to measure ADAM10 activity in spinal fluid and, by extension, identify persons who may have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. A series of experiments to examine this possibility is already underway.


Contact: Sonja Juelich-Abbas
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Related biology news :

1. Discovery points to new approach for diabetes therapy
2. Personalized approach to smoking cessation may be reality in 3-5 years
3. Stem-cell therapy may provide new approach to fight infection
4. Insight into cells could lead to new approach to medicines
5. Entrust Credentialing Services - A New End-to-End, SAAS Approach for Identity-Based Smartcards
6. No more pills: Male contraceptive takes new approach
7. Epigenetic concepts offer new approach to degenerative disease
8. Dual approach gives a more accurate picture of the autistic brain
9. Development of new anti-cancer gene therapy approach using lentiviral vectors
10. Asexual plant reproduction may seed new approach for agriculture
11. Preventing or reversing inflammation after heart attack, stroke may require 2-pronged approach
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into ... of vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer ... drivers, and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive ... the vehicle. Europe , ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to $9 million to provide preclinical development services to ... Under the contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern ... a wide variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies ... --> --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute ... "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for ... Health and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers ... --> --> Synthetic ... the potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will be presenting at the ... on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT . ... a corporate overview. th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference ... a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola , vice president of ... --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide ... Carolina , today announced that the company has set a ... a 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 ... and Mexico , with the establishment of ... December 2015. --> United Kingdom and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive ... CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and ... testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier ... models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. , ... the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: