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Leap forward in efforts to develop treatments for Huntington's disease
Date:7/28/2010

ted, reduced the accumulation of toxic fragments associated with HD.

Four of the proteases belong to a family called matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), a class of enzymes already involved in drug development, Dr. Ellerby said. "We've found a target that has known drugs for cancer treatment that could possibly have significance for HD," added Dr. Ellerby. "MMPs are also involved in stroke, inflammation and many neurological processes; we expect a lot of scientific attention to now be focused on this important class of proteases," she said.

Results involving MMPs were verified in mouse models of HD, Dr. Ellerby said. In collaborative studies with Dr. Juan Botas at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, researchers found that homologs of MMPs suppressed HD-induced neuronal dysfunction in fruit flies. "The next step in this research will be to test some of the MMP inhibitor drugs as a potential treatment in HD mouse models," said Dr. Ellerby. "We'll also be crossing mice that no longer have particular MMPs with those who have HD to see what effect that has on offspring," she said.


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Contact: Kris Rebillot
krebillot@buckinstitute.org
415-209-2080
Buck Institute for Age Research
Source:Eurekalert

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