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

Empty-handed neurons might cause neurodegenerative diseases

Key pathway identified for how depletion of axonal mitochondria disrupts autophagy

Empty-handed neurons might cause neurodegenerative diseases
2024-04-20
(Press-News.org)

Tokyo, Japan – Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have identified how proteins collect abnormally in neurons, a feature of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. They used fruit flies to show that depletion of mitochondria in axons can directly lead to protein accumulation. At the same time, significantly high amounts of a protein called eIF2β were found. Restoring the levels to normal led to a recovery in protein recycling. Such findings promise new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Every cell in our bodies is a busy factory, where proteins are constantly being produced and disassembled. Any changes or lapses in either the production or recycling phases can lead to serious illnesses. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), for example, are known to be accompanied by an abnormal build-up of proteins in neurons. However, the trigger behind this accumulation remains unknown.

A team led by Associate Professor Kanae Ando of Tokyo Metropolitan University have been trying to determine the causes of abnormal protein build-up by studying Drosophila fruit flies, a commonly studied model organism that has many key similarities with human physiology. They focused on the presence of mitochondria in axons, the long tendril-like appendages that stretch out of neurons and form the necessary connections that allow signals to be transmitted inside our brains. It is known that the levels of mitochondria in axons can drop with age, and during the progress of neurodegenerative diseases.

Now, the team have discovered that the depletion of mitochondria in axons has a direct bearing on protein build-up. They used genetic modification to suppress the production of milton, a key protein in the transport of mitochondria along axons. It was found that this led to abnormal levels of protein building up in fruit fly neurons, a result of the breakdown of autophagy, the recycling of proteins in cells. Through proteomic analysis, they were able to identify a significant upregulation in eIF2β, a key subunit of the eIF2 protein complex responsible for the initiation of protein production (or translation). The eIF2α subunit was also found to be chemically modified. Both of these issues hamper the healthy action of eIF2.

Importantly, by artificially suppressing levels of eIF2β, the team discovered that they could restore the autophagy that was lost and regain some of the neuron function that was impaired due to axonal mitochondria loss. This not only shows that depletion of mitochondria in axons can cause abnormal protein accumulation, but that this happens via upregulation of eIF2β.

As populations age and the prevalence of neurodegenerative conditions continues to increase, the team’s findings present a vital step in developing therapies to combat these serious illnesses.

This work was supported by a Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant (2021-4087), the Takeda Science Foundation, a Hoansha Foundation Grant, a research award from the Japan Foundation for Aging and Health and the Novartis Foundation (Japan) for the Promotion of Science, a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Challenging Research (Exploratory) [JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 19K21593], NIG-JOINT (National Institute of Genetics, 71A2018, 25A2019), and the TMU Strategic Research Fund for Social Engagement.

END


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Empty-handed neurons might cause neurodegenerative diseases

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Black women hospitalised in USA with blood infection resistant to last-resort antibiotic at increased risk of death

2024-04-20
Nationwide analysis of a large, geographically diverse cohort of adults in the USA suggests increased risk for hospital-acquired carbapenem-resistant enterobacterales bloodstream infections among racial and ethnic minorities may be due in part to hospitalisations for underlying comorbidities and associated with racial and biological sex inequities **ECCMID has now changed name to ESCMID Global, please credit ESCMID Global Congress (Barcelona, Spain, 27-30 April) in all future stories** New research being presented at this year’s ESCIMD Global Congress (formerly ...

NEC Society Statement on the Watson vs. Mead Johnson Verdict

NEC Society Statement on the Watson vs. Mead Johnson Verdict
2024-04-19
Given the litigation involving products used to feed and support the growth of preterm infants and the direct implication for infants who are at risk of and who have been affected by necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), the NEC Society previously released a statement on the lawsuits. This statement addresses the Watson case. Necrotizing enterocolitis is a devastating intestinal inflammatory disease that can affect premature or otherwise medically fragile infants during their first weeks and months of life. Upon diagnosis, many babies have only hours or days before their intestines become necrotic, progressing to sepsis, multisystem ...

Lemur’s lament: When one vulnerable species stalks another

Lemur’s lament: When one vulnerable species stalks another
2024-04-19
What can be done when one threatened animal kills another? Scientists studying critically endangered lemurs in Madagascar confronted this difficult reality when they witnessed attacks on lemurs by another vulnerable species, a carnivore called a fosa. This dynamic can be particularly complex when the predation occurs in an isolated or poor-quality habitat, according to research from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar. In the new paper published in Ecology and Evolution, researchers describe how they were observing small groups of critically endangered diademed ...

Surf clams off the coast of Virginia reappear – and rebound

Surf clams off the coast of Virginia reappear – and rebound
2024-04-19
The Atlantic surfclam, an economically valuable species that is the main ingredient in clam chowder and fried clam strips, has returned to Virginia waters in a big way, reversing a die-off that started more than two decades ago. In a comprehensive study of surfclams collected from an area about 45 miles due east from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Rutgers scientists found the population to be thriving and growing. A likely reason could be that environmental conditions improved, and another possibility is that the clams adapted, ...

Studying optimization for neuromorphic imaging and digital twins

2024-04-19
Harbir Antil (PI), director of the Center for Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence (CMAI), professor of Mathematical Sciences, and Rainald Löhner (co-PI), director of Computational Fluid Dynamics Lab, professor of Physics and Astronomy, received funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), under the prestigious DURIP program, to establish a neuromorphic imaging and digital twins lab with capabilities to design new optimization algorithms.  This project will set up the Neuromorphic Imaging and Digital Twins Lab—a first of its kind ...

ORNL researchers win Best Paper award for nickel-based alloy tailoring

ORNL researchers win Best Paper award for nickel-based alloy tailoring
2024-04-19
Rishi Pillai and his research team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will receive a Best Paper award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Gas Turbine Institute in June at the Turbo Expo 2024 in London.   The winning paper is “Leveraging Additive Manufacturing to Fabricate High Temperature Alloys with Co-Designed Mechanical Properties and Environmental Resistance,” which Pillai presented in June at the Turbo Expo 2023 in Boston.   The ORNL scientists co-designed a compositionally graded nickel-based alloy for molten halide salts-supercritical carbon dioxide heat exchangers. The objective ...

New beta-decay measurements in mirror nuclei pin down the weak nuclear force

New beta-decay measurements in mirror nuclei pin down the weak nuclear force
2024-04-19
The Science The Standard Model of Particle Physics is scientists’ best understanding of the forces that describe how subatomic particles interact. The Standard Model encompasses four forces: the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force, and the gravitational force. All four forces govern the way our universe works. However, the weak nuclear force is exceptionally difficult to study as it is overshadowed by the much greater effects of the strong nuclear and electromagnetic forces. Scientists have gained new ...

Study uncovers neural mechanisms underlying foraging behavior in freely moving animals

Study uncovers neural mechanisms underlying foraging behavior in freely moving animals
2024-04-19
HOUSTON – (April 19, 2024) – While foraging, animals including humans and monkeys are continuously making decisions about where to search for food and when to move among possible sources of sustenance. “Foraging behavior is something we perform daily when we go to the grocery store to pick up food, and we make choices based on the degree of reward each choice provides. It’s a classical problem common to every species on the planet,” said Valentin Dragoi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice, professor of neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College and scientific director of the Methodist/Rice Center for Neural Systems Restoration. In ...

Gene therapy is halting cancer. Can it work against brain tumors?

2024-04-19
Grant of up to $11 million will fund a clinical trial at UCSF that uses a smarter new CAR-T guided by precision technology.   A type of gene therapy called CAR-T that has extended survival for thousands of patients with leukemia and other blood cancers is being adapted at UC San Francisco to treat people with glioblastoma, the most common and deadly adult brain tumor.    This new more powerful version of CAR-T employs a novel technology developed at UCSF called synthetic notch (synNotch) that both protects healthy tissue from damage and enables the treatment to work more effectively.     UCSF ...

New copper-catalyzed C-H activation strategy from Scripps Research

2024-04-19
LA JOLLA, CA—Inspired by what human liver enzymes can do, Scripps Research chemists have developed a new set of copper-catalyzed organic synthesis reactions for building and modifying pharmaceuticals and other molecules. The new reactions are expected to be widely used in drug discovery and optimization, as well as in other chemistry-based industries. In their study, which initially published in an unedited version on March 28, 2024, in Nature, the chemists showed that their new methods can be used to perform two modifications—called dehydrogenations and lactonizations—on ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists uncover a multibillion-year epic written into the chemistry of life

Monitoring diseases through sweat becomes accessible to everyone

Mathematical model driven evolutionary therapy dosing exploiting cancer cell plasticity

Biodiversity in the margins: Merging farmlands affects natural pest control

1 in 8 pregnant people have a disability, but significant gaps exist in the provision of accessible care

Statins associated with decreased risk for CVD and death, even in very old adults

Climate change is moving tree populations away from the soil fungi that sustain them

Secrets of sargassum: Scientists advance knowledge of seaweed causing chaos in the Caribbean and West Africa

Bioinformatics approach could help optimize soldiers’ training for improved readiness and recovery

Earth scientists describe a new kind of volcanic eruption

Warmer wetter climate predicted to bring societal and ecological impact to the Tibetan Plateau

Feeding infants peanut products protects against allergy into adolescence

Who will like beetle skewers? What Europeans think about alternative protein food

ETRI wins ‘iF Design Award’ for mobile collaborative robot

Combating carbon footprint: novel reactor system converts carbon dioxide into usable fuel

Investigating the origin of circatidal rhythms in freshwater snails

Altering cellular interactions around amyloid plaques may offer novel Alzheimer’s treatment strategies

Brain damage reveals part of the brain necessary for helping others

Surprising properties of elastic turbulence discovered

Study assesses cancer-related care at US hospitals predominantly serving minority populations compared with non-minority serving hospitals

First in-human investigator-initiated clinical trial to launch for refractory prostate cancer patients: Novel alpha therapy targets prostate-specific membrane antigen

Will generative AI change the way universities communicate?

Artificial Intelligence could help cure loneliness, says expert

Echidnapus identified from an ‘Age of Monotremes’

Semaglutide may protect kidney function in individuals with overweight or obesity and cardiovascular disease

New technique detects novel biomarkers for kidney diseases with nephrotic syndrome

Political elites take advantage of anti-partisan protests to disrupt politics

Tiny target discovered on RNA to short-circuit inflammation, UC Santa Cruz researchers find

Charge your laptop in a minute? Supercapacitors can help; new research offers clues

Scientists discover CO2 and CO ices in outskirts of solar system

[Press-News.org] Empty-handed neurons might cause neurodegenerative diseases
Key pathway identified for how depletion of axonal mitochondria disrupts autophagy