19 September 2009

Scientists begin to untangle root cause of Alzheimer's disease

New research in the FASEB Journal suggests that a fragment of a protein that increases production of a causative agent of Alzheimer's points to new drug targets
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology via EurekAlert!: 3 September 2009
"N60" might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Alzheimer's disease, but thanks to researchers from the United States, South Korea and France, this might change. That's because these researchers have found that the N60 section of a protein called "RanBP9" might be the key that unlocks an entirely new class of Alzheimer's drugs, and with them, hope. In a research report published online in The FASEB Journal these scientists describe how the N60 fragment of the RanBP9 protein increases the production of the amyloid beta protein, which is present in excessive amounts in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Most experts believe that if the creation of amyloid beta protein can be halted or slowed, the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease may also be stopped or slowed too. Knowing which portion of the RanBP9 protein to target is particularly important because it gives researchers a more specific focus for developing new Alzheimer's drugs. … > full press release

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