Lower levels of protein seen in Alzheimer's brains

Posted on 02 September 2011

People with Alzheimer's, who may be paying for care, have lower levels of a key protein present in their brains, according to research.

The protein, ubiquilin-1, is known to 'chaperone' the formation of amyloid precursor protein - the malformation of which is directly linked to Alzheimer's pathology, according to a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

'Chaperone' proteins are known to bind their client proteins to make sure they form correctly during the folding process by which they arrive at their proper shape.

University of Texas researcher said that in all Alzheimer's brains examined, the ubiquilin-1 protein was lower - which is a "completely new development".

Associate professor Darren Boehning said: "Ubiquilin-1 prevents the APP molecule from falling into a conformation it's not supposed to be in.

"This fits with a theme we're seeing across the neurodegenerative disorders and the disorders of aging - the idea that many of these disorders are associated with decreased quality control by chaperones."

Posted by Natalie Edwards

 

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