Protein implicated in Alzheimer’s may have a brighter side

Melbourne, Aug 1 (IANS) Researchers have discovered that a protein involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease also has properties that could benefit human health.

A shorter form of a protein called beta amyloid is present both in diseased and healthy brains, said the study that could help researchers better understand how Alzheimer’s develops.

“We know that the shorter form of beta amyloid is present in the diseased brain, but we now know that it is abundant in healthy brains as well,” said lead researcher Simon Drew from University of Melbourne in Australia.

Shorter version of this protein may act as a sponge that safely binds a metal that can damage brain tissue when it is in excess, the findings showed.

In the late 1990s, high levels of copper were discovered within the clumps of beta amyloid formed in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Copper is essential to health, but too much can produce harmful free radicals.

Many scientists began to suspect that this copper might be contributing to the disease. They found that beta-amyloid can bind to copper indiscriminately and allow it to produce these damaging free radicals.

Closer analysis of beta amyloid protein has revealed different sizes.

“The small change in length makes a huge difference to its copper binding properties. We found that the short form of the protein is capable of binding copper at least 1000 times stronger than the longer forms. It also wraps around the metal in a way that prevents it from producing free radicals,” Drew explained.

“Given these properties and its relative abundance, we can speculate this type of beta amyloid is protective. It is very different from the current view of how beta amyloid interacts with biological copper,” Drew noted in a statement released by University of Melbourne.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here