Alzheimer protein found critical to brain development

October 30, 1999

Researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital's Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and the University of Toronto have discovered that some of the proteins responsible for familial Alzheimer's disease are also critical to mammalian development. The study is published in the November 1st edition of the journal Genes and Development.

Previous work in Toronto by Dr. Peter St. George Hyslop and others has shown that the human genes Presenilin 1 (PS1) and Presenilin 2 (PS2) are responsible for certain hereditary forms of Alzheimer's. To investigate how these proteins normally function, the Lunenfeld scientists developed mice lacking PS1 and PS2. These mutant mice do not survive past the early embryonic stage of development due to multiple defects, including brain development.

"The study shows that the same proteins that malfunction late in life have a key role in the beginning of life," said study author Dr. Alan Bernstein, director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital and professor of medical genetics at the University of Toronto.

Post-doctoral researcher Dr. Dorit Donoviel, also of the Lunenfeld, said mice were used in the study because they are genetically and biochemically similar to humans. "These observations raise the intriguing possibility that early decisions in human development can have serious effects late in life," Dr. Donoviel says. "These mice will provide a valuable biological tool with which to understand the function of the molecules implicated in Alzheimer's Disease."

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada there is no known cure for the disease that destroys vital nerve cells in the brain. Alzheimer Disease is the most common form of dementia, which affects 316,500 Canadians. The number is expected to grow to 750,000 Canadians affected by the year 2031.

The other study authors are: Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital; Masaki Ikeda, Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and department of medicine, division of neurology, University of Toronto; Hui Zheng, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey; Peter St. George Hyslop, Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and department of medicine, division of neurology, University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital.
-end-


University of Toronto

Related Alzheimer Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Potential link for Alzheimer's disease and common brain disease that mimics its symptoms
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital uncovered a group of closely related genes that may capture molecular links between Alzheimer's disease and Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy, or LATE, a recently recognized common brain disorder that can mimic Alzheimer's symptoms.

Uncovering Alzheimer's disease
Characterized by a buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, Alzheimer's is an irreversible disease that leads to memory loss and a decrease in cognitive function.

Viewpoint: Could disease pathogens be the dark matter behind Alzheimer's disease?
In a lively discussion appearing in the Viewpoint section of the journal Nature Reviews Neurology, Ben Readhead, a researcher in the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute joins several distinguished colleagues to discuss the idea that bacteria, viruses or other infectious pathogens may play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

Coordination chemistry and Alzheimer's disease
It has become evident recently that the interactions between copper and amyloid-╬▓ neurotoxically impact the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

How Alzheimer's disease spreads through the brain
Tau can quickly spread between neurons but is not immediately harmful, according to research in mouse neurons published in JNeurosci.

A protective factor against Alzheimer's disease?
Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) at the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt (LMU) in Munich have found that a protein called TREM2 could positively influence the course of Alzheimer's disease.

An alternate theory for what causes Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, is characterized by plaques and tangles in the brain, with most efforts at finding a cure focused on these abnormal structures.

Alzheimer's: How does the brain change over the course of the disease?
What changes in the brain are caused by Alzheimer's disease?

Possible pathway to new therapy for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have uncovered an enzyme and a biochemical pathway they believe may lead to the identification of drugs that could inhibit the production of beta-amyloid protein, the toxic initiator of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Promising novel treatment against Alzheimer disease
New research conducted at the Lady Davis Institute (LDI) at the Jewish General Hospital reveals that a novel drug reverses memory deficits and stops Alzheimer disease pathology (AD) in an animal model.

Read More: Alzheimer Disease News and Alzheimer Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.