Navigation Links
Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor offers clues to Alzheimer's disease

Troy, N.Y. An organic compound found in red wine resveratrol has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to research led by Rensselaer Professor Peter M. Tessier. The findings, published in the May 28 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, are a step toward understanding the large-scale death of brain cells seen in certain neurodegenerative diseases.

"We've shown how resveratrol has very interesting selectivity to target and neutralize a select set of toxic peptide isoforms," Tessier said. "Because resveratrol picks out the clumps of peptides that are bad and leaves alone the ones that are benign, it helps us to think about the structural differences between the peptide isoforms."

Isoforms are different packing arrangements of a particular peptide. Deformations of a particular peptide - the Aβ1-42 peptide - have been linked to Alzheimer's disease. Improperly folded peptides have been shown to collect in accumulations called "plaques" within the brain. Those plaques are often found near areas of cell death in diseased brains.

It is not clear that resveratrol is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, Tessier said. However, the molecule has garnered interest in recent years for its potential impact on cancer and aging.

In their research, Tessier and his co-authors generated A peptides packed together in five unique isoforms, or "arrangements" (monomer, soluble oligomer, non-toxic oligomer, fibrillar intermediates and amyloid fibrils). In their experiments, three of these arrangements were toxic to human cells, two were not.

Next, the researchers introduced resveratrol.

The resveratrol reacted with the toxic arrangements of the Aβ1-42 peptide, neutralizing their toxicity.

It did not affect the non-toxic arrangements.

"The surprise is that this molecule can target some of these packing arrangements that are toxic and rearrange them into packing arrangements that are not toxic. For those forms that are non-toxic, it doesn't change them," Tessier said.

Intriguingly, Tessier said, one of the toxic arrangements (the soluble oligomer) and one of the non-toxic arrangements (the non-toxic oligomer) were indistinguishable by various methods. And yet the resveratrol only affected the toxic arrangement.

The point, Tessier concludes, is that the seemingly identical non-toxic and toxic arrangements must have some distinguishing feature yet to be discovered, raising questions for future study.

"We have two things that look very similar, but one is toxic and the other isn't," Tessier said. "What is it that makes the bad one bad and the good one good?"

The research produced several other findings, Tessier said, including reliable methods of generating the arrangements Tessier's team produced, and formation of one arrangement which had previously been unknown.

Last week, Tessier was named as a 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts.The distinction includes an award of $240,000 over four years and inclusion into a select community of scientists that includes three Nobel Prize winners, three MacArthur Fellows, and two recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Tessier was also recently awarded a five-year, $411,872 Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research in the related field of protein thermodynamics and aggregation.

The CAREER Award is given to faculty members at the beginning of their academic careers and is one of NSF's most competitive awards, placing emphasis on high-quality research and novel education initiatives.

Tessier joined the Rensselaer faculty in 2007 following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maine, and went on to earn his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.


Contact: Mary Martialay
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Related biology technology :

1. Research Triangle Area Health Care Collaborative Launches Bridges to Excellence(R) Initiative to Improve Quality and Lower Costs
2. The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and Proteolix Initiate Phase 2 Clinical Trial Investigating Carfilzomib for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
3. BioMarin Licenses Technology From Leading Cystic Fibrosis Research Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco
4. IDM Pharma Names Dr. Jeffrey W. Sherman Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development
5. Dawson James Securities Initiates Research Coverage on CryoCor, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRYO) with a Strong Buy Rating and $6.00 Target Price
6. eResearchTechnology to Present at the Thomas Weisel Healthcare Conference 2007 on September 5th
7. The Debiopharm Life Sciences Award Goes to Dr Nusser for his Outstanding Research in Neuroscience
8. Study Published in Clinical Cancer Research Confirms Potential Of Peregrines Bavituximab Combined With Radiation In Lung Cancer
9. Dow AgroSciences and Exelixis Plant Sciences Announce Major Research Collaboration, Asset Purchase to Advance Gene Discovery and Validation
10. Revolutionary Genomics Research Group Opens Boston Office; Provides DNA Evidence in Workers Comp Cases
11. Richard Schulz Receives the Coveted GCPj Award for Best Clinical Researcher of the Year
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The ... the recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the ... through his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., ...
(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)... Worcester, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... need to maintain healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper ... Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead ... Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ... Brazil . Cell, pinpoints ... dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015  In this report, ... basis of product, type, application, disease indication, ... this report are consumables, services, software. The ... safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. ... are diagnostics development, drug discovery and development, ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... 4, 2015 --> ... published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - ... 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected ... 2022. The market is estimated to expand at a ... to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):