Navigation Links
Rusty worms in the brain
Date:3/5/2008

This release is available in German.

Iron is vital to human life; for example, it is a component of hemoglobin, the substance that makes our blood red and supplies our cells with oxygen. However, iron can also cause heavy damage; it is thought that iron deposits in the brain contribute to certain forms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons, Huntington s, and Alzhiemers. A malfunction of the blood transporter transferrin may be to blame. A team led by Peter J. Sadler at the University of Warwick (Coventry, UK) and Sandeep Verma of the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur, India) has now been able to show that transferrin can clump together to form wormlike fibrils. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this process releases rustlike iron particles.

Within the body, iron is present in the form of iron ions with a threefold positive charge (Fe3+) and must always be well wrapped to prevent it from reacting with proteins and causing damage. In blood plasma, iron is carried in the pockets of the iron transport protein transferrin. It only gets unwrapped once it is inside special cellular organelles.

But things can go wrong in this system, as Sadler and his colleagues have now proven. The researchers deposited iron-loaded human transferrin onto various surfaces under conditions that emulate those in living organisms. By using microscopy and electron microscopy, the researchers showed that the proteins aggregate into long wormlike fibrils. These worms have a regular striped pattern; the narrow dark stripes contain something similar to rust. Within the fibrils, the iron ions are no longer properly enclosed; explains Sadler, instead, they aggregate into periodically arranged nanocrystals whose structure seems to be very similar to the iron oxide mineral lepidocrocite.

The researchers suspect that in certain forms of neurodegenerative disease, iron deposits may form in a similar fashion in the brain. Such iron crystals are highly reactive and could lead to the formation of toxic free radicals, which attack and destroy nerve cells. If this assumption can be verified in vivo, agents that hinder the aggregation of transferrin may be the foundation for a new family of drugs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter J. Sadler
p.j.sadler@warwick.ac.uk
44-247-652-3653
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. After more than 100 years apart, webworms devastate New Zealand parsnips
2. Snoozing worms help Penn researchers explain the evolution of sleep
3. Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain
4. Drug commonly used to treat bipolar disorder dramatically increases lifespan in worms
5. Scientists alter sexual orientation in worms
6. The myth of runners high revisited with brain imaging
7. Brains R Us: Neuroscience and education town hall
8. Advertisers, neuroscientists trace source of emotions in brain
9. Sex differences in the brains serotonin system
10. Book is the first high-resolution digital mouse brain atlas designed for Web applications
11. New MIT tool probes brain circuits
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/9/2016)... Elevay is currently known as ... for high net worth professionals seeking travel for work ... world, there is still no substitute for a face-to-face ... your deal with a firm handshake. This is why ... of citizenship via investment programs like those offered by ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to grow ... 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being implemented ... healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for controlling ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced ... this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, ... explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: