Navigation Links
Unraveling Alzheimer's: Simple small molecules could untangle complex disease
Date:12/9/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---New molecular tools developed at the University of Michigan show promise for "cleansing" the brain of amyloid plaques, implicated in Alzheimer's disease.

A hallmark of Alzheimer's disease---a neurodegenerative disease with no cure---is the aggregation of protein-like bits known as amyloid-beta peptides into clumps in the brain called plaques. These plaques and their intermediate messes can cause cell death, leading to the disease's devastating symptoms of memory loss and other mental difficulties.

The mechanisms responsible for the formation of these misfolded proteins and their associations with Alzheimer's disease are not entirely understood, but it's thought that copper and zinc ions are somehow involved.

The research, led by assistant professor Mi Hee Lim, was published online Dec. 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In earlier work, Lim and her team developed dual-purpose molecular tools that both grab metal ions and interact with amyloid-beta. The researchers went on to show that in solutions with or without living cells, the molecules were able to regulate copper-induced amyloid-beta aggregation, not only disrupting the formation of clumps, but also breaking up clumps that already had formed.

Building upon that first generation of compounds, Lim and lab members Jung-Suk Choi and Joseph Braymer now report a second generation of compounds that are more stable in biological environments. The researchers tested one of those compounds, described in the PNAS paper, in homogenized brain tissue samples from Alzheimer's disease patients.

"We found that our compound is capable of disassembling the misfolded amyloid clumps to form smaller amyloid pieces, which might be 'cleansed' from the brain more easily, demonstrating a therapeutic application of our compound," said Lim, who has joint appointments in the Life Sciences Institute and the Department of Chemistry. In addition, preliminary tests show that the bi-functional small molecules have a strong potential to cross the blood-brain barrier, the barricade of cells that separates brain tissue from circulating blood, protecting the brain from harmful substances in the bloodstream.

"Crossing this barrier is essential for any treatment like this to be successful," Lim said.

Next steps include more intensive testing of the new compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic properties.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Farina
jfarina@umich.edu
734-615-4862
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Brain structure provides key to unraveling function of bizarre dinosaur crests
2. Physics, math provide clues to unraveling cancer
3. March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to scientists unraveling the causes of muscular dystrophy
4. New book offers practical advice for unraveling the genetics of complex human diseases
5. Tel Aviv University President Co-authors Important Paper Unraveling the Effect of Spatial Organization on Intracellular Chemistry
6. Diversity of trees in Ecuadors Amazon rainforest defies simple explanation
7. Simple chemical procedure augments therapeutic potential of stem cells
8. A simple fusion to jump-start evolution
9. Artificial cells, simple model for complex structure
10. Simple test helps predict heart attack risk
11. Pitt-led researchers create quick, simple fluorescent detector for TB
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Unraveling Alzheimer's: Simple small molecules could untangle complex disease
(Date:4/13/2016)... 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership ... platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, ... index, and, when they opt in, share them with ... a local retail location at no cost. By leveraging ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics ... leadership of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., ... addition, members of the original technical leadership team, including ... Vice President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice ... have returned to the company. Dr. Bready ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... BOSTON , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo ... biology to industrial engineering, was today awarded as ... a selection of the world,s most innovative companies. ... at scale for the real world in the ... organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading ... UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high ... its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 ... evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal ... sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. ... whole genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put ...
Breaking Biology Technology: