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Leuven research opens new pathway for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Date:12/4/2012

2 was awarded to Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Brian Kobilka for their groundbreaking work in this field and the many medical applications of this knowledge. It is known that GPCRs also play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, but it is not yet clear how GPCRs regulate the ɣ-secretase complex.

β-arrestins are a family of proteins that classically block or limit GPCR activation; however, it has been recently appreciated that β-arrestins also have additional functions. Therefore, Amantha Thathiah set up a study under the supervision of Bart De Strooper to examine the involvement of β-arrestins in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The scientists succeeded for the first time in demonstrating that β-arrestin 2 plays a role in regulation of the ɣ-secretase complex function and in the development of Alzheimer's disease in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model. More specifically, β-arrestin 2 interacts with two GPCRs that are known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, expression of β-arrestin 2 is also elevated in individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Impact of the research

This research opens a new pathway for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. β-arrestin 2 inhibition could be beneficial in prevention of the adverse side effects currently associated with γ-secretase inhibition. Therefore, this study provides a previously unexplored avenue for the development of a treatment that can act at a very early stage of Alzheimer's disease.


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Contact: Evy Vierstraete
evy.vierstraete@vib.be
32-924-46611
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

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