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Researchers find chemical 'switches' for neurodegenerative diseases
Date:11/26/2012

le in mammals.

Dr. Parker's team found that deleting the TDP-43 and FUS genes, which produce the proteins of the same name, reduced neurodegeneration caused by mutant huntingtin. They then confirmed their findings in the cell of a mammal cell, again by using models. The next step was then to determining how neuroprotection works. TDP-43 targets a chemical called progranulin, a protein linked to dementia. "We demonstrated that removing progranulin from either worms or cells enhanced huntingtin toxicity, but increasing progranulin reduced cell death in mammalian neurons. This points towards progranulin as a potent neuroprotective agent against mutant huntingtin neurodegeneration," Dr. Parker said. The researchers will need to do further testing this in more complex biological models to determine if the same chemical switches work in all mammals. If they do, then progranulin treatment may slow disease onset or progression in Huntington's disease patients.


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Contact: William Raillant-Clark
w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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