Navigation Links
Novel protein fragments may protect against Alzheimer's
Date:5/13/2014

The devastating loss of memory and consciousness in Alzheimer's disease is caused by plaque accumulations and tangles in neurons, which kill brain cells. Alzheimer's research has centered on trying to understand the pathology as well as the potential protective or regenerative properties of brain cells as an avenue for treating the widespread disease.

Now Prof. Illana Gozes, the incumbent of the Lily and Avraham Gildor Chair for the Investigation of Growth Factors and director of the Adams Super Center for Brain Studies at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and a member of Tel Aviv University's Sagol School of Neuroscience, has discovered novel protein fragments that have proven protective properties for cognitive functioning.

In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Prof. Gozes examined the protective effects of two newly discovered protein fragments in mice afflicted with Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms. Her findings have the potential to serve as a pipeline for new drug candidates to treat the disease.

NAP time for Alzheimer's

"Several years ago we discovered that NAP, a snippet of a protein essential for brain formation, which later showed efficacy in Phase 2 clinical trials in mild cognitive impairment patients, a precursor to Alzheimer's," said Prof. Gozes. "Now, we're investigating whether there are other novel NAP-like sequences in other proteins. This is the question that led us to our discovery."

Prof. Gozes' research focused on the microtubule network, a crucial part of cells in our bodies. Microtubules act as a transportation system within nerve cells, carrying essential proteins and enabling cell-to-cell communications. But in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS, and Parkinson's, this network breaks down, hindering motor abilities and cognitive function.

"NAP operates through the stabilization of microtubules tubes within the cell which maintain cellular shape. They serve as 'train tracks' for movement of biological material," said Prof. Gozes. "This is very important to nerve cells, because they have long processes and would otherwise collapse. In Alzheimer's disease, these microtubules break down. The newly discovered protein fragments, just like NAP before them, work to protect microtubules, thereby protecting the cell."

Down the tubes

In her new study, Prof. Gozes and her team looked at the subunit of the microtubule the tubulin and the protein TAU (tubulin-associated unit), important for assembly and maintenance of the microtubule. Abnormal TAU proteins form the tangles that contribute to Alzheimer's; increased tangle accumulation is indicative of cognitive deterioration. Prof. Gozes decided to test both the tubulin and the TAU proteins for NAP-like sequences. After confirming NAP-like sequences in both tubulin subunits and in TAU, she tested the fragments in tissue cultures for nerve-cell protecting properties against amyloid peptides, the cause of plaque build up in Alzheimer patients' brains.

"From the tissue culture, we moved to a 10-month-old transgenic mouse model with frontotemporal dementia-like characteristics, which exhibits TAU pathology and cognitive decline," said Prof. Gozes. "We tested one compound a tubulin fragment and saw that it protected against cognitive deficits. When we looked at the "dementia"-afflicted brain, there was a reduction in the NAP parent protein, but upon treatment with the tubulin fragment, the protein was restored to normal levels."

Prof. Gozes and her team also measured the brain-to-body mass ratio, an indicator of brain degeneration, and saw a significant decrease in the mouse model compared to normal mice. Following the introduction of the tubulin fragments, however, the mouse's brain to body ratio returned to normal. "We clearly see here the protective effect of the treatment," said Prof. Gozes. "We witnessed the restorative and protective effects of totally new protein fragments, derived from proteins critical to cell function, in tissue cultures and on animal models."


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Novel compound demonstrates anti-leukemic effect in zebrafish, shows promise for human treatment
2. Rutgers team discovers novel approach to stimulate immune cells
3. Novel drug candidates offer new route to controlling inflammation
4. Researchers present new findings for novel pancreatic cancer vaccine
5. Novel biomarkers reveal evidence of radiation exposure
6. VCU Massey Cancer Center sees potential in novel leukemia treatment
7. Study supports urate protection against Parkinsons disease, hints at novel mechanism
8. Novel Natural Sciences Repository Opens Web Portal
9. Novel Anti-Inflammatories May Offer a New Approach for the Treatment of Stroke
10. LA BioMed investigators, Drs. Kevin Bruhn and Noah Craft, develop novel treatment for melanoma
11. Novel radiation therapy safely treats prostate cancer and lowers the risk of recurrence
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Premier Fitness Camp (PFC) and The Chopra Center for ... and wellness program, at their world headquarters of Omni La Costa Resort & Spa ... to anyone seeking weight loss, personal development, a healthy lifestyle, or mental and physical ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., Nov. 24, 2016 — ... highest standards of trauma, maternity, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) services ... Daniel Messina. , Among the recognitions, the American College of Surgeons' (ACS) named ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Botelho advocates for the mass media launching of ... gives people ongoing opportunities to share their unfortunate experiences; such a movement can ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... The Dan Carlisle Agency, an Alabama-owned ... is announcing the launch of a charity drive to raise support and awareness ... and children in Birmingham has grown steadily since the 1980’s, and the Pathways ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Payne, AL (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... offering insurance and financial consulting services to residential and commercial clients in the ... awareness and support for Nobis Works. , Since 1977, Nobis Works has built ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , Dec. 8, 2016  Eli Lilly ... detailed results of its phase 3 EXPEDITION3 trial at ... (CTAD) meeting. As previously disclosed, solanezumab did not meet ... study of solanezumab initiated in people with mild dementia ... pursue regulatory submissions for solanezumab for the treatment of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... CITY , Dec. 8, 2016 ... US patents for improving the accuracy, reproducibility and ... images in long and small bone orthopaedic applications. ... approach to creating personalized orthopaedic restorations based on ... personalized orthopaedic restorations, the company harnesses the world,s ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  EIP Pharma, LLC ... obtained proof-of-mechanism for neflamapimod (previously code named VX-745), ... 2a clinical trials that demonstrated significant Alzheimer,s disease ... (12-week treatment) and Study 303 (6-week treatment) are ... in Alzheimer,s Disease (CTAD) scientific conference in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: