PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

High-resolution images reveal similarities in protein structures between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome

2024-03-29
(Press-News.org) INDIANAPOLIS – More than 90% of people with Down syndrome, the most common chromosomal disorder in humans and the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability, are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by ages 55-60. A new study recently published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology uses leading-edge cryo-electron microscopy imaging technology to determine whether differences exist between the protein structures in those with Alzheimer’s disease and those with both Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome.

“Just like in Alzheimer’s disease, the neuropathological phenotype in those with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the presence of amyloid β (Aβ) and by abnormal accumulation of tau protein,” said Ruben Vidal, PhD, the Luella McWhirter Martin Professor of Clinical Alzheimer's Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study. “The structures of Aβ and tau filaments in Down syndrome have not been previously investigated, and it is unknown whether they are different from those of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Researchers studied images of Aβ and tau filaments, which occurs in individuals with Down syndrome, and compared with those seen in the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease. They found that the protein structures of Aβ and tau filaments in people with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease have similarities to those found in Alzheimer’s disease.

Vidal said their findings may lead to better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease patients and individuals with Down syndrome.

“This study is the first comparison at the near atomic level of Aβ and tau filaments between individuals with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease and individuals with only Alzheimer’s disease,” Vidal said. “Importantly, the study found variations in the structure of Aβ, but no substantial variation in the structure of tau filaments between individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. This supports the notion of common mechanisms operating in people with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and in people with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. This knowledge is crucial for understanding Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome and assessing whether adults with both conditions could be included in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever, but almost all of them are dying of Alzheimer’s disease when they get older.”

Vidal, also an investigator in IU School of Medicine’s Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, said the research team used cryogenic electron microscopy to get a close-up, 3D view of the structure of Aβ and tau filaments in two individuals with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. The study revealed two novel types of Aβ filaments in the vascular compartment with structures different from those previously reported in Alzheimer’s disease.

Vidal said the study’s findings show it is important to include people with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease in clinical trials targeting the Aβ or tau filaments. He said there are similarities between the mechanisms at play in amyloid aggregation, but more research is needed to determine whether the differences observed in vascular Aβ deposition are unique to those with Down syndrome.

"We are thrilled that our cryo-EM imaging and 3D modeling techniques have facilitated the determination of the atomic structures of amyloid beta and tau fibrils in individuals with Down syndrome, shedding light on the connection between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease,” said Wen Jiang, PhD, professor of biology at Purdue University and co-corresponding author of the study. “We are fortunate to have the Purdue Cryo-EM Facility, which provides exceptional resources and services that have made this research possible. We are grateful to the patients who donated their brains to the research and thankful to the NIH for funding our work."

Other study authors include co-corresponding author Bernardino Ghetti, Anllely Fernandez, Grace Hallinan, Kathy Newell and Holly Garringer, all from the IU School of Medicine; and Rejaul Hoq, Daoyi Li, Sakshibeedu Bharath, Frank Vago, Xiaoqi Zhang and Kadir Ozcan, all from Purdue University.

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the IU School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

About IU School of Medicine

The IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability. According to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the IU School of Medicine ranks No. 13 in 2023 National Institutes of Health funding among all public medical schools in the country.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

How blocking a neural receptor responsible for addiction could reduce alcohol use

2024-03-29
LA JOLLA, CA—Scripps Research scientists have found that LY2444296—a compound that selectively blocks the kappa opioid receptor (KOP)—may reduce drinking in cases of alcohol dependence in animal studies. The findings, which were published March 9, 2024, in Scientific Reports, could eventually inform new treatment options for people who experience alcohol use disorder (AUD). “Compounds designed to selectively block the KOP are very promising because this receptor is involved in a lot of mental illnesses, such as ...

Researchers discover skin biomarkers in infants that predict early development of food allergies

2024-03-29
DENVER — (MARCH 29, 2024) Food allergies occur often in childhood and can be severe or even fatal. Researchers at National Jewish Health are working to develop a program to prevent food allergies and have now identified early predictors of the condition.         During a recent study just published online in the March 2024 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, skin tape strips were collected from the forearms of newborns at the age of two months, an age before there ...

Researchers reveal evolutionary path of important proteins

Researchers reveal evolutionary path of important proteins
2024-03-29
New research from the University of Wisconsin–Madison decodes the evolutionary pathway of regulatory proteins, the molecules that help control gene expression. The findings from the Raman Lab in the Department of Biochemistry recently published their findings in the journal Cell Systems. Here’s a rundown on what they discovered: Proteins acquire and lose functions through evolutionary processes as cells adapt to changes in their environment over time. Protein evolution is well studied in certain enzymes but is understudied in regulatory proteins, which help control gene expression. A new, ...

Insilico Medicine presents progress of 5 novel AI cancer drugs at AACR

2024-03-29
Insilico Medicine (“Insilico”), a clinical-stage generative artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company, today announced that five preclinical programs have been accepted as poster presentations in the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2024 (AACR 2024) happening April 5-10 in San Diego. Abstracts are now available on the AACR website. Insilico’s drug discovery efforts are driven by its validated and commercially viable AI drug discovery platform, Pharma.AI, ...

Study finds benefits in prescribing alcohol use disorder medications upon discharge from alcohol-related hospitalizations

2024-03-29
BOSTON – For adults hospitalized for alcohol-related reasons, receiving a prescription for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) medication at the time of discharge may lower their risk of return to hospital within 30 days of discharge, including emergency room visits and readmissions. That’s according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the University of Pittsburgh. For the study, the investigators identified 9,834 alcohol-related hospitalizations among 6,794 Medicare Part D beneficiaries across the United States in 2016. Only 2.0% of hospitalizations involved filled ...

USC Schaeffer Center study finds few hospitals promoting potentially predatory medical payment products

2024-03-29
Fifty million Americans are on a financing plan to pay off medical or dental bills, with one-quarter of those bearing some interest. Increasingly, medical payment products (MPPs) – which include credit cards and loans administered by hospitals, physician practices, or third-party companies – have come under scrutiny by the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Treasury.  The agencies’ concern is that the products may be sidestepping a broad range of patient and consumer protections and inflating ...

Mandatory standards for the indoor environment would result in immense benefits to the health and productivity of people around the world

2024-03-29
This publication is a call to action for governments and agencies to develop, legislate and enforce IAQ standards. Boerstra: “Traditionally, governments have regulated outdoor air. But inhabitants of industrialized countries now spend more than 90% of their time indoors.” As a result, indoor pollutants have major consequences for our long-term health. Bluyssen: “For example, we now know that tiny airborne particles can pass directly from lungs to bloodstream, where they cause all kinds of diseases.” And indoor air is also a prime transmitter of pathogens, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 ...

Chickadees have unique neural “barcodes” for memories of stashing away food

Chickadees have unique neural “barcodes” for memories of stashing away food
2024-03-29
Your ability to remember and recall moments in time is important for recording life-defining moments and everyday information like where you parked the car. Now researchers reporting in the journal Cell on March 29 have new insight into how those episodic memories are encoded in the brain based on studies of how chickadees store food. Their study finds that chickadees activate unique neural patterns, which they liken to barcodes, each time they cache food in a certain spot. When they go back to retrieve that stored food, their brains light back ...

Chickadees are memory geniuses. Their barcode-like neural activity may be to thank

2024-03-29
NEW YORK, NY — Black-capped chickadees have extraordinary memories that can recall the locations of thousands of morsels of food to help them survive the winter. Now scientists at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute have discovered how the chickadees can remember so many details: they memorize each food location using brain cell activity akin to a barcode. These new findings may shed light on how the brain creates memories for the events that make up our lives. "We see the world through our memories of objects, places and people," said Dmitriy Aronov, PhD, a principal investigator at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute and an ...

Tiny orchid flowers pollinated by tiny flies

Tiny orchid flowers pollinated by tiny flies
2024-03-29
Researchers Yuta Sunakawa, Ko Mochizuki, and Atsushi Kawakita of the University of Tokyo discovered the first orchid species pollinated by gall midges, a tiny fly species. This is the first documented case of an orchid species found to be pollinated by gall midges, and it makes the orchids the eleventh such plant family. The findings were published in the journal Ecology. The family of orchids is rich both in numbers and variety. Their range of shapes and sizes is due to having evolved to attract different animal pollinators. However, scientists have only mapped ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

European Hormone Day 2024: Endocrine community unites to raise public awareness and push for policy action on hormone health

Good heart health in middle age may preserve brain function among Black women as they age

The negative effects of racism impact sleep in adolescents

Study uses wearable devices to examine 3- to 6-year-olds’ impulsivity, inattentiveness

Will future hurricanes compromise New England forests’ ability to store and sequester carbon?

Longest study to date assesses cognitive impairment over time in adults with essential tremor

Does a woman’s heart health affect cognition in midlife?

Unveiling the mysteries of cell division in embryos with timelapse photography

Survey finds loneliness epidemic runs deep among parents

Researchers develop high-energy-density aqueous battery based on halogen multi-electron transfer

Towards sustainable food systems: global initiatives and innovations

Coral identified as oldest bioluminescent organism, suggesting a new model of ancient ecology

SRI chosen by DARPA to develop next-generation computational design of metallic parts and intelligent testing of alloys

NJIT engineers muffle invading pathogens with a 'molecular mask'

Perinatal transmission of HIV can lead to cognitive deficits

The consumption of certain food additive emulsifiers could be associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

New cancer research made possible as Surrey scientists study lipids cell by cell 

Bioluminescence first evolved in animals at least 540 million years ago

Squids’ birthday influences mating

Star bars show Universe’s early galaxies evolved much faster than previously thought

Critical minerals recovery from electronic waste

The move by Apple Memories to block potentially upsetting content illustrates Big Tech’s reach and limits, writes Chrys Vilvang

Chemical tool illuminates pathways used by dopamine, opioids and other neuronal signals

Asian monsoon lofts ozone-depleting substances to stratosphere

PET scans reveal ‘smoldering’ inflammation in patients with multiple sclerosis

Genetics predict type 2 diabetes risk and disparities in childhood cancer survivors

Health information on TikTok: The good, the bad and the ugly

New study points to racial and social barriers that block treatment for multiple myeloma

Rensselaer researcher finds that frog species evolved rapidly in response to road salts

A new chapter in quantum vortices: Customizing electron vortex beams

[Press-News.org] High-resolution images reveal similarities in protein structures between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome