Navigation Links
Finding brings scientists 1 step closer to Parkinson's drug
Date:6/27/2012

Grand Rapids, Mich. (June 27, 2012) Van Andel Institute announces that researchers at Lund University in Sweden have published a study detailing how Parkinson's disease spreads through the brain. Experiments in rat models uncover a process previously used to explain mad cow disease, in which misfolded proteins travel from sick to healthy cells. This model has never before been identified so clearly in a living organism, and the breakthrough brings researchers one step closer to a disease-modifying drug for Parkinson's.

"Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease," said Patrik Brundin M.D., Ph.D., Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson's Research at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), Head of the Neuronal Survival Unit at Lund University and senior author of the study. "A major unmet medical need is a therapy that slows disease progression. We aim to better understand how Parkinson's pathology progresses and thereby uncover novel molecular targets for disease-modifying treatments."

Previous research demonstrates that a misfolded protein known as alpha-synuclein protein gradually appears in healthy young neurons transplanted to the brains of Parkinson's patients. This discovery gave rise to the group's hypothesis of cell-to-cell protein transfer, which has since been demonstrated in laboratory experiments.

In the current study, published this week in the PLoS ONE, researchers for the first time were able to follow events in the recipient cell as it accepts the diseased protein by allowing it to pass its outer cell membrane. The experiments also show how the transferred proteins attract proteins in the host cell leading to abnormal folding or "clumping" inside the cells.

"This is a cellular process likely to lead to the disease process as Parkinson's progresses, and it spreads to an increasing number of brain regions as the patient gets sicker," said Elodie Angot, Ph.D., of Lund University's Neuronal Survival Unit, and lead co-author of the study.

"In our experiments, we show a core of unhealthy human alpha-synuclein protein surrounded by alpha-synuclein produced by the rat itself. This indicates that this misfolded protein not only moves between cells but also acts as a "seed" attracting proteins produced by the rat's brain cells," said Jennifer Steiner, Ph.D., of Lund University and Van Andel Institute's Center for Neurodegenerative Science, the study's other lead author.

These findings are consistent with results from previous laboratory cell models and for the first time extend this observation into a living organism. However, it remains unclear exactly how alpha-synuclein gains access from the extracellular space to the cytoplasm of cells to act as a template for naturally occurring alpha-synuclein, causing the naturally-occurring protein to, in turn, misfold. Further studies are needed to clarify this important step in the process.

The discovery does not reveal the root of Parkinson's disease, but in conjunction with disease models developed by Lund University researchers and others, could enable scientists to develop new drug targets aimed at mitigating or slowing the effects of the disease, which currently strikes more than 1% of people over the age of 65.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Hawkins
tim.hawkins@vai.org
616-234-5519
Van Andel Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New findings in breast cancer
2. Kessler Foundation scientists present cognitive research findings at MS dual symposium
3. Researchers present new findings for novel pancreatic cancer vaccine
4. Mayo Clinic urologists present findings at American Urological Association Annual Meeting
5. Finding ways to feed pigs for less
6. Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Yields Sobering Findings
7. Columbus Allergist Dr. Summit Shah Discusses Recent Findings on Food Allergies and Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis
8. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
9. Scientists uncover multiple faces of deadly breast cancer
10. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
11. Scientists tailor cell surface targeting system to hit organelle ZIP codes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... ... Be Well Medical Group (Be Well) is pleased to announce ... South Columbus St, Suite 201, Alexandria, VA. Be Well Medical Group is a concierge ... of their homes, offices or at the practices’ local office. It is also one ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... ... The book, “Computers Should Just Work!”, provides a basic, non-techie education on how ... signing a contract and how to spot an incompetent or dishonest IT person before ... and technology, it’s more important than ever to make sure the company you outsource ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Sherly Sulaiman, certified clinical hypnotherapist and ... sessions to help Los Angeles-area actors cope with rejection, improve their auditions, and ... as “Mindfulness for Actors and Artists,” has been featured in Daily Actor ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... is unveiling its revolutionary new 2.0 version at the International Roofing Expo in ... the power of the world's most advanced weather technology in the hands of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Wickman Agency in Garland, TX has ... community. Pledging to select a new beneficiary every 60 days, the agency will ... is to bring community awareness to important local causes by forming campaigns which ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Israel , February 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... leader in the field of cartilage repair, announces the ... 5, 2016. The $15 million investment was led by ... pharmaceutical manufacturer, and was joined by existing Regentis investors ... and both the Technion Research & Development Foundation and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 10, 2016 ALSP, ... Hack , MD as Consultant for Medical Affairs in preparation ... Michael Pierschbacher , PhD, CEO, stated, "We are ... team. We look forward to working with an individual of ... (TBI). We look forward to drawing deeply on his broad ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 ... new market research report "Pharmaceutical Packaging Equipment Market by ... Labeling & Serialization), by Product Type (Tablet, Powder, Cream, ... published by MarketsandMarkets, studies the global market during the forecast ... to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% during the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: