Washington, May 26 (ANI): High levels of a protein, called GGA3, could prevent the accumulation of an enzyme linked to Alzheimer's, found researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine.
The strategy may lead to new treatments for the neurodegenerative disease.
People with Alzheimer's disease typically have higher levels of an enzyme called BACE1 in their brains. BACE1 produces a toxin that researchers have pinpointed as a cause of Alzheimer's, and now, researchers have found a way to prevent BACE1 from accumulating in the brain.
"We have identified the protein that takes this enzyme to the cell's garbage disposal for removal. Increasing levels of the protein allows more of the enzyme to be eliminated, possibly preventing the high levels seen in people with Alzheimer's disease," said senior author Dr. Giuseppina Tesco.
The researchers previously discovered that levels of the GGA3 protein were significantly lower in the brains of Alzheimer's patients than those free of the disease.
In the current in vitro study, the team also found, unexpectedly, that the GGA3 protein must bind with the regulatory protein ubiquitin in order to lower enzyme levels.
"This insight advances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. We hope that our approach will lead to new therapies that treat and prevent Alzheimer's, which currently affects as many as 5.1 million Americans," said Tesco.
The findings were published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. (ANI)