Navigation Links
New pathway to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases
Date:7/29/2010

LA JOLLA, Calif., July 29, 2010 Although their genetic underpinnings differ, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease are all characterized by the untimely death of brain cells. What triggers cell death in the brain? According to a new study published by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) in the July 30 issue of Molecular Cell, the answer in some cases is the untimely transfer of a gaseous molecule (known as nitric oxide, or NO) from one protein to another.

"We and other researchers have shown that NO and related molecules can contribute to either nerve cell death or nerve cell survival. However, these new findings reveal that NO can actually jump from one protein to another in molecular pathways that lead to cellular suicide," explained Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and director of the Del E. Web Center for Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research at Sanford-Burnham. "Now that we have this molecular clue to the cause of nerve cell death in Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases, we can figure out how to use it to better diagnose and treat these diseases." Dr. Lipton is also a Harvard-trained neurologist who sees many of these patients in his own clinical practice.

In this study, Dr. Lipton and his colleagues, led by Tomohiro Nakamura, Ph.D., found that NO-like molecules are transferred from caspases, proteins that normally initiate cell death, to XIAP, a protein that normally inhibits cell death. In other words, caspases pass NO to XIAP like a 'hot potato.' This process occurs by a chemical reaction known as transnitrosylation. When XIAP is left holding NO, the result is a double whammy for brain cells, since cells are programmed to self-destruct when either XIAP has NO attached to it or when caspases don't. Hence, both brain cell-destroying events occur at the same time. The researchers then found that XIAP holding the NO 'hot potato' was much more common in brains of human patients with neurodegenerative diseases than in normal brains, solidifying their suspicion that this protein modification leads to cell damage.

To calculate which protein is more likely to end up with the NO 'hot potato,' caspases or XIAP, the researchers created a new version of the Nernst equation a 19th century mathematical equation taught in every general chemistry class. This power of prediction might allow doctors to diagnose neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease earlier.

"We are currently analyzing cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue from Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other patients to determine if we can use the NO-tagged proteins as biomarkers for the disease," Dr. Lipton said.

In order to develop therapies to treat Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases based on their new findings, Dr. Lipton's laboratory is also applying the robotic technology in Sanford-Burnham's Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics to screen thousands of chemicals for potential drugs that prevent the aberrant or excessive transfer of NO from one protein to another, and thus to prevent nerve cell injury and death.


'/>"/>

Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@sanfordburnham.org
858-795-5236
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Key pathway in end-stage prostate cancer tumor progression blocked
2. Scientists find link between estrogen metabolism pathway and breast cancer risk
3. Hematology-Oncology Associates of Northern New Jersey (HOANNJ) Joins Effort to Improve Cancer Care with Via Oncology™ Pathways
4. New pathway to cheap insulin
5. A single protein regulates 2 immune pathways
6. Space Coast Cancer Center Selects Via Oncology™ Pathways to Advance Evidence-Based Cancer Care
7. Targeting cell pathway may prevent relapse of leukemia
8. Newly identified proteins critical to FA pathway DNA repair function
9. Cellular pathway could provide evidence of how cancer and obesity are linked
10. Welsh Tree LLC Proudly Presents the Release of the Celtic Pathways CD by Jason Evans, in Time for Saint Patrick's Day
11. Different signaling pathways of cholangiocarcinoma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... ... will host its 2017 Process Validation and Process Validation Statistics Conferences in ... to process validation lifecycle challenges faced by process validation professionals and statisticians ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... “We are thrilled to be partnering with ... to schedule an appointment online in real time,” said Keith English, LocalMed CEO. “Allowing ... directory will bring more Six Month Smiles patients to their providers.” , Each month, ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... The Amnesty Rally 2017 will ... Johnson Park at 3313 Bernstein Park Drive in Monroe (adjacent to the Louisiana Purchase ... to help reduce gun violence throughout Monroe. Citizens can turn in unregistered, illegally-held and ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... , ... “Now Hiring!” is a popular phrase at Home Delivery Incontinent ... sales for over 30 consecutive years and now plans to hire more than 100 ... excitement and growth at HDIS, following the company’s acquisition by Fortune 1000 company Domtar. ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... finance management services to communities across North Carolina, is launching a charity event ... raise community support for the ongoing fight against bladder cancer. , The Bladder ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(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)... , July 10, 2017  US medical equipment and ... 2021, according to Medical Equipment & Supplies: ... Freedonia Focus Reports. Continued increases in demand for medical ... of the population and supported by gains in disposable ... and supplies. New product introductions will also drive sales ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , July 10, 2017 ... of a $5m Convertible Note to support the development ... led by Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading Chinese Internet ... Center. This funding will advance multiple infectious disease product ... Founded by Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: