Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
BioConferenceLive
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB

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

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 27 Mar 2014
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.



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular rendering of the crystal structure of parkin (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Cinnamon Feeding Blocks Development of Parkinson's Disease in Mouse Model

A team of neurological researchers has identified a molecular mechanism by which cinnamon acts to protect neurons from damage caused by Parkinson's disease (PD) in a mouse model of the syndrome.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Precise Ion Irradiation Dosing Method Developed for Cancer Therapy

Scientists are employing nuclear physics principles to provide more effective approaches to radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Radiation therapy using heavy ions is best suitable for cancer patients with tumors that are difficult to access, such as in the brain. These particles scarcely damage the penetrated... Read more

Business

view channel

Cancer Immunotherapy Sector Predicted to Surge to USD 9 Billion Across Major Pharma Through 2022

The immunotherapy market will experience substantial growth through 2022, increasing from USD 1.1 billion in 2012 to nearly USD 9 billion in 2022 (corresponding to 23.8% annual growth) in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, according to recent market research. This notable growth... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.