Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Cathepsin B Inhibitors Ease Alzheimer's Symptoms by Blocking Amyloid Plaque Formation

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 27 Mar 2014
Print article
Image: Micrograph showing amyloid-beta (brown) in senile plaques of the cerebral cortex (upper left of image) and cerebral blood vessels (right of image) with immunostaining (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Image: Micrograph showing amyloid-beta (brown) in senile plaques of the cerebral cortex (upper left of image) and cerebral blood vessels (right of image) with immunostaining (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Neurobiologists studying the molecular processes underlying Alzheimer's disease have identified the mechanism that explains how inhibition of cathepsin B activity blocks formation of the toxic amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides that characterize the disease.

Cathepsin B was once suspected as being a protease participating in the conversion of beta-amyloid precursor protein into the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease patients. However, this function is now known to be mediated by BACE1 protease. It is now thought that cathepsin B can degrade beta-amyloid precursor protein into harmless fragments. Thus, it is conceivable cathepsin B may play a pivotal role in the natural defense against Alzheimer's disease.

However, new findings reported in the March 4, 2014, online edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease by investigators at the University of California, San Diego (USA) and colleagues at the biopharmaceutical company American Life Science Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (San Diego, CA, USA) have altered this concept by showing that cathepsin B gene knockout or its reduction by an enzyme inhibitor blocked creation of key neurotoxic amyloid-beta peptides linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Using various mouse models, the investigators showed that oral administration of E64d a cysteine protease inhibitor of cathepsin B, not only reduced the build-up of beta-amyloid in the brains of these animals, but it also caused substantial improvement in memory.

“This is an exciting finding,” said senior author Dr. Vivian Hook, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, San Diego. “It addresses a new target—cathepsin B—and an effective, safe small molecule, E64d, to reduce the pGlu-Abeta that initiates development of the disease’s neurotoxicity. No other work in the field has addressed protease inhibition for reducing pGlu-Abeta of Alzheimer's disease.”

Related Links:

University of California, San Diego
American Life Science Pharmaceuticals, Inc.



Print article

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (Photo courtesy of the CDC).

Drug Combination Cures MRSA Infection While Preventing Development of Resistance

Treatment with a combination comprising the well-known antibiotic cefdinir and the experimental drug TXA709 cured mice of drug-resistant staphylococcal infections while reducing the development of resistance.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: A three-dimensional printer adapted for stem cell production (Photo courtesy of Nano Dimension).

Israeli Developers Demonstrate Prototype Three-Dimensional Bioprinter

Two Israeli companies have combined efforts in the development of three-dimensional printer technology for the production of stem cells. The three-dimensional print electronics developer Nano Dimension... Read more

Business

view channel

Acquisition to Boost Development of Drugs for Neurogenic Conditions

According to a recent announcement, a privately held biotechnology/drug development company is to be acquired by one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The drug manufacturer Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ, USA) has agreed to pay 500 million USD up front for Afferent Pharmaceuticals (San Mateo, CA, USA) and up... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.