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Src inhibitors may prove beneficial in breast cancer therapy
Estrogen, which binds estrogen receptor alpha (ER-alpha), is a risk factor for breast cancer development. However, one-third of new breast cancers lack detectable ER-alpha. These ER-alpha-negative cancers are more aggressive and have a worse prognosis than do ER-alpha-positive breast cancers, and have been thought to be estrogen independent. In a new JCI study, University of Miami researchers shed further light on the mechanisms regulating ER-alpha expression levels during breast cancer. (2007-07-12)

Stalking a Parkinson's protein
In struggling to find the cause of Parkinson's disease, scientists have recently homed in on a mysterious protein called alpha-synuclein. Researchers suspect abnormal alpha- synuclein activity may be an important factor in the devastating disease. In this issue of Genome Research, scientists from NIH use information on human and mouse genomes to uncover a novel genetic element that controls alpha-synuclein activity. (2001-01-11)

Tug of war between Parkinson's protein and growth factor
Alpha-synuclein, a sticky and sometimes toxic protein involved in Parkinson's disease, blocks signals from the growth factor BDNF, adding to evidence that alpha-synuclein is a pivot for brain cell damage. Also helps explain why cells that produce dopamine are more vulnerable to degeneration. (2017-09-18)

A balancing act in Parkinson's disease: Phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein
Both genetic and pathologic data indicate a role for the neuronal protein alpha-synuclein in Parkinson disease. Previous studies have indicated that phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein at amino acid 129 is a key event in alpha-synuclein-mediated nerve cell toxicity. However, Mel Feany and colleagues, at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, have now identified a counterbalancing role in nerve cell protection for phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein amino acid 125. (2009-10-12)

Anti-malarials most effective in lupus patients genetically at risk of high levels of TNF-alpha
Anti-malarial drugs are most effective in people with lupus who are genetically predisposed to high levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha and low levels of the cytokine IL-10. A study published today in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy reveals that anti-malarial drugs, widely used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), bring serum levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) back to normal in SLE patients. (2006-02-12)

New hybrid detector monitors alpha, beta, and gamma radiation simultaneously
Device could be used at nuclear power plant accident sites to more quickly and efficiently assess contamination levels. (2011-11-08)

Alpha-2 integrin: A protein predictor of tumor spread?
Researchers, publishing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, have generated data that lead them to suggest that decreased expression of the protein alpha-2 integrin is predictive of tumor dissemination to distant sites and decreased survival in individuals with either breast or prostate cancer. (2010-12-06)

Compound regulates genetic risk factor in Parkinson's disease
Suchi Mittal and colleagues have identified beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) agonists as compounds that can reduce levels of the alpha-synuclein gene, which has been implicated in increased risk for Parkinson's disease. (2017-08-31)

Scientists can see the bias in your brain
The strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-03-16)

Study unravels new insights into a Parkinson's disease protein
The new study explores alpha-synuclein's basic properties, with a focus on a section of the protein known as the non-amyloidal component (NAC). The research was done on fruit fly larvae that were genetically engineered to produce both normal and mutated forms of human alpha-synuclein. (2020-01-16)

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Highlights include: Modulating a song with noradrenaline: Noradrenergic inputs mediate state-dependence of auditory responses in the avian song system and sAPP-alpha, Transthyretin, and Neuroprotection. (2004-09-01)

Selective estrogen signaling key to postmenopausal risk of obesity
Although the hormone estradiol-17-beta is a key reproductive hormone, it also contributes to the regulation of energy balance and body weight. As a result, estrogen deficiency following menopause is associated with an increased probability of obesity. New research has generated data that suggest it might be possible to develop drugs that selectively reduce the risks of obesity and metabolic disturbances in postmenopausal women. (2011-01-18)

Protein-linked sugars are crucial for the uptake of proteins linked to Parkinson's disease
New research from the University of Pennsylvania shows how glycoproteins, proteins with added sugar molecules, influence the uptake of protein aggregates that are associated with Parkinson's disease. The researchers also identified a specific presynaptic protein as a key regulator in this process, which opens the door for future research into new therapeutic targets. (2019-07-03)

The protein modifier SUMO helps set apart females and males
One way in which men and women differ is in their expression of liver proteins that control energy generation and lipid and steroid hormone production and turnover. Researchers at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, have identified a new mechanism -- involving a process known as sumoylation -- underlying this differential expression of proteins in male and female mice. They also suggest drugs that may prevent estrogen-induced intrahepatic cholestasis, the most common liver disease during pregnancy. (2009-09-01)

Pro-vitamin E shown to be active against breast cancer cells
A precursor of vitamin E has been shown to be effective against breast cancer cell lines which over-express human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2). (2006-12-07)

Generation of a severe memory-deficit mutant mouse by exclusively eliminating the kinase activity of CaMKIIalpha
A Japanese research group, led by Dr. Yoko Yamagata of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, has successfully generated a novel kinase-dead mutant mouse of the CaMKIIalpha gene that completely and exclusively lacks its kinase activity. They examined hippocampal synaptic plasticity and behavioral learning of the mouse, and found a severe deficit in both processes. They reported their findings in Journal of Neuroscience on June 10, 2009. (2009-06-19)

Defect in alpha-1 antitrypsin gene found to increase colorectal cancer risk
Mayo Clinic scientists have discovered that carriers of a genetic defect previously linked to emphysema have a threefold increased risk of developing a type of sporadic colorectal cancer. Carriers who currently smoke have a 20- fold increased risk. (2001-01-02)

A 'frenemy' in Parkinson's disease takes to crowdsourcing
Researchers have found that a key neuronal protein called alpha-synuclein normally gathers in synapses, where aggregates of it help regulate neurotransmissions. In overabundance, though, a-synuclein can choke off communication altogether, leading to neuronal death and related diseases. (2014-09-29)

Alpha-synuclein effects on dopaminergic neurons: Protection or damage?
Alpha-synuclein is a principal component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, which are pathologic hall-marks of Parkinson's disease. Alpha-synuclein is generally considered to play a role in synaptic activity, although its function remains largely unknown. (2014-03-12)

SLU professor receives $1.4 million grant to study Alpha-1 liver disease in adults
SLU Professor of Pediatrics Jeffrey Teckman, M.D., has received a $1.4 million grant from the Alpha-1 Foundation to study the Alpha-1 disease in adult patients. (2012-10-04)

UNC scientists identify possible KRAS downstream target for pancreatic cancer therapy
A University of North Carolina School of Medicine team offers first evidence of the role of a protein called GSK-3 alpha in promoting oncogenic KRAS function. (2013-05-28)

Alpha particles lurk at the surface of neutron-rich nuclei
Scientists from an international collaboration have found evidence of alpha particles at the surface of neutron-rich heavy nuclei, providing new insights into the structure of neutron stars, as well as the process of alpha decay. (2021-01-21)

Genetic screen in worms reveals critical step in insulin synthesis
The identification of a protein important for insulin synthesis may hold clues for understanding the pathogenesis of diabetes. Although the protein, called TRAP-alpha, was first discovered more than 30 years ago, its biological function has been unclear. The new findings, reported Dec. 4 in Science Advances, demonstrate that TRAP-alpha is required for both early and late steps in insulin synthesis. (2019-12-04)

RIT's NanoPower lab wins $1.2 million to build tiny power supplies for military
Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology's NanoPower Research Laboratories (NPRL) won $1.2 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, to develop tiny power supplies for military use. This three-year project will improve the efficiency of alpha voltaic batteries to operate miniature military devices with sensing and communication abilities. (2004-09-20)

Potential new treatment approach for severe asthma
Researchers have uncovered a potentially new treatment approach for severe asthma, by blocking a powerful immune system chemical, present in large amounts in patients with the severe form of the disease, a small study in Thorax reveals. (2005-09-14)

Drug discovery: Alzheimer's and Parkinson's spurred by same enzyme
Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are different. But at the biochemical level, these two neurodegenerative diseases start to look similar. This is how Emory scientists landed on a potential drug target for Parkinson's. (2017-07-03)

Foot-and-mouth-disease virus could help target the deadliest cancer
The foot-and-mouth-disease virus is helping scientists to tackle a common cancer with the worst survival rate -- pancreatic cancer. (2020-02-11)

Top anti-arthritis drugs cause skin disease
Members of the second most important family of drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious dermatological conditions in a quarter of patients under treatment, reveals a study published today in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy. (2005-04-03)

SUMO defeats protein aggregates that typify Parkinson's disease
A small protein called SUMO might prevent the protein aggregations that typify Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a new study in the July 11, 2011, issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. (2011-07-11)

Discovery of gene will likely lead to new treatments for inflammatory diseases, cancer
Researchers from Boston University School of Dental Medicine report the discovery of a new gene, STAT6(B), that helps regulate production of the potentially deadly tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) cytokine. TNF-alpha is involved in inflammatory disorders such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. (2005-03-28)

Disease-causing protein protects against nerve damage in Parkinson's disease
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that a protein associated with causing neurodegenerative conditions may, when appearing in normal amounts, actually protect against neurodegeneration. (2005-11-03)

Allergists warn that chigger bites may cause allergic reaction to red meat
Chiggers, redbugs, harvest mites -- whatever you call them, they are pesky little bugs whose bites cause really itchy rashes, usually around the ankles and waistline. (2018-08-31)

Diabetes and cancer: Alpha connection
The function of p110 alpha in the body has eluded researchers for over a decade but a new approach to generating mouse models, has allowed investigators from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research's (LICR) UCL Branch and the UCL Centre for Diabetes & Endocrinology to solve the mystery and yield important information for cancer, diabetes, obesity and planned clinical trials with PI3K inhibitors. (2006-04-12)

Substance used to treat complications from diabetes also proves to work as antioxidant
A substance used for decades in Europe to treat diabetic neuropathy, or nervous-system complications, also functions as an antioxidant in humans, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. (1999-11-11)

Regulating gene expression - STAT
In the December 15th issue of G&D, Dr. Michael Snyder and colleagues (Yale University) explore transcription factor binding under different cell activation conditions. (2005-12-07)

Chimpanzee males court friends in high places
Male chimpanzees that befriended the top-ranking male were more successful at mating with preferred females when in the alpha male's presence. (2016-11-08)

Glioblastoma multiforme in the Dock
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common malignant brain cancer in humans. Patients with this highly aggressive form of cancer have a poor prognosis because it is commonly resistant to current therapies. Researchers have now identified a molecular pathway that drives the aggressive cancerous nature of a many glioblastomas; specifically, those that overexpress the protein PDGFR-alpha. This pathway could represent a novel and attractive therapeutic target for treating individuals with glioblastomas that over-express PDGFR-alpha. (2011-11-14)

Gene May Hold Key To Treating Life-Threatening Cholesterol
Findings from a study, in which a gene that speeds cholesterol metabolism was turned off, will help scientists develop better drugs for controlling life-threatening levels of the substance, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas reported in the May 29 issue of Cell. (1998-05-28)

Einstein researchers discover important clue to the cause of Parkinson's disease
A glitch in the mechanism by which cells recycle damaged components may trigger Parkinson's disease, according to a study by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The research, which appears in the Jan. 2 advance online issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could lead to new strategies for treating Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases. (2008-01-02)

sLRP1-alpha provides relief from neuropathic pain
Injury to peripheral nerves causes neuropathic pain. Normal pain relief therapies do not effectively provide relief from neuropathic pain. Further understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain is therefore essential to facilitate the development of new drugs and new research in rodents has provided evidence that a fragment of the protein LRP1 (sLRP1-alpha) attenuates neuropathic pain. (2007-12-03)

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