Navigation Links
First atomic-level look at a protein that causes brain disease
Date:4/22/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the first time, researchers have peered deeply at the atomic level into the protein that causes hereditary cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) -- a disease thought to cause stroke and dementia.

The study pinpointed a tiny portion of the protein molecule that is key to the formation of plaques in blood vessels in the brain.

Ohio State University chemist Christopher Jaroniec and his colleagues report their results this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers worldwide are working to understand how certain kinds of proteins, called prions, cause degenerative brain diseases such as CAA. More common prion diseases include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. All are incurable and fatal.

Jaroniec understands that any discovery related to prions could raise peoples hopes for a cure, but he emphasized that his study is only a first step towards understanding the structure of the prion for CAA.

This is a very basic study of the structure of the protein, and hopefully it will give other researchers the information they need to perform further studies, and improve our understanding of CAA, he said.

His team partnered with biochemists from Case Western Reserve University, who took a fragment of the human prion protein for CAA and tagged it with chemical markers.

Jaroniec explained that, while the prion protein used in the study is associated with the development of hereditary CAA, it is not infectious.

After the researchers tagged the molecule, they created the right chemical conditions for it to fold into macromolecules called amyloid fibrils.

Researchers know that in the body, these fibrils form plaques that lodge in blood vessel walls in the brain. But nobody has been able to closely examine the molecular structure of CAA fibrils until now.

These fibrils are very large and complex, and so traditional biochemical techniques wont reveal their structure in detail, Jaroniec said.

The assistant professor of chemistry at Ohio State is an expert in a technique that can reveal the structure of such large molecules: solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

NMR works by tuning into the radio waves emitted by atoms within materials. Every atom emits radio waves at a particular frequency, depending on the types of atoms that surround it.

The NMR technique the chemists used, called magic angle spinning, involves spinning materials at a certain angle with respect to the NMR's magnetic field in order to remove radio interference among the atoms. It offers researchers a clear view of which atoms make up a particular molecule, and how those atoms are arranged.

So after the researchers let the prion proteins fold into amyloid fibrils, they used magic angle spinning NMR to study the fibrils structure.

They searched the NMR signals for the chemical tags that had been planted in the prions. In that way, they were able to determine what parts of the original prion protein were contained within the fibrils.

They found, to their surprise, that some 80 percent of the original prion protein molecule was not present in the fibrils. The fibrils consisted exclusively of the remaining 20 percent -- approximately 29 amino acids, of which two appear to be especially critical to the structure of the molecule.

Other studies have suggested that these two amino acids, numbered 138 and 139, were key to the formation of the CAA fibrils, Jaroniec said. But this study is the first to confirm their importance by studying them at the atomic level.

The researchers are continuing this work, and plan to examine the structure of the fibrils in more detail, as well as other strains of the CAA prion protein.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christopher Jaroniec
jaroniec.1@osu.edu
614-247-4284
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
2. FDA Approves First Anti-Psychotic for Kids
3. Single-incision belly-button surgery to remove kidney performed first at UT Southwestern
4. First study examines newly-licensed RN work attitudes and intentions
5. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
6. UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital Caregivers and Board Vote to Ratify First Union Contract With SEIU UHW-West
7. Father and Daughter From Tanzania Receive Their First Medical Examination in Newport Beach
8. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
9. APA Comments on FDAs First Approval of Medication to Treat Pediatric Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
10. TriWest Creates First-of-its-Kind Partnership to Offer Military Leaders With Grief Support Program
11. Watson Receives First FDA Approval for Manufacturing Product at Its Goa, India Facility
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... The Margarian Law Firm has filed a class ... ale for allegedly containing no ginger. Dr. Pepper produces the “Canada Dry” brand of ... Margaryan alleges Canada Dry Ginger Ale claims on its bottle that it is made ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... “Kids aren't born knowing how to ... shoes,” says Suzanne Tucker, Founder of St. Louis-based positive education company Generation Mindful. To ... Kickstarter on Monday, July 21st. , The kit uses colorful, engaging and educational ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... CANADA (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) offer patients improved quality of life five years ... for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The study followed ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 ... ... aggressive form of blood and bone marrow cancer that progresses rapidly without treatment. ... often recommended to reduce the chance of reoccurrence and relapse. With such ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... in which their iMedSecure™ comes included with each system installation. RMT’s iMedHD2™ ... to remote participants for real-time collaboration and immediate decision-making requirements. While never ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/13/2017)... 2017  New York City-based market research firm Kalorama Information ... aware of.  From new products to new costs, to the ... recently completed study, Potential Pipeline Disruptors . ... 1.  Age-Driven Growth - True Impact Moment Arriving ... the impact the growing population and, to a more extreme ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , July 11, 2017  The ... had estimated revenues of approximately $394.1 million in 2016.  ... a trend of solid growth, in particular as a ... oncology clinical practice, and the recent introduction of a ... the need for less-invasive testing of tumor biomarkers to ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , July 10, 2017 ... in non-animal test methods, is the recipient of a ... by the PETA International Science Consortium. The device, which ... be used to expose human lung cells to airborne ... lung. IIVS will use the VITROCELL® system for testing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: