04.12.2012 - Scientists from VIB and KU Leuven have discovered a new target that could lay the foundations for a new approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
The research team, headed by Bart de Strooper from VIB, found that β-arrestin 2 blocks the plaque-form enzyme γ-secretase through interaction with the G protein–coupled receptors GPR3 and β2 -adrenergic receptor (Nature Medicine). Furthermore, they demonstrated that β-arrestin 2 was overexpressed in two independent cohorts of Alzheimer patients. Overexpression of the protein led to an increase in sticky amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, called Aβ40 and Aβ42, which form the amyloid plaques that are associated with neurodegeneration. In contrast, genetic silencing of Arrb2, which encodes β-arrestin 2, reduced generation of Aβ in cell cultures and in knock-out mice for the Alzheimer regulator. The effect was mediated by direct binding to the Aph-1a subunit of the γ-secretase complex, which enzymatically generates the sticky Aβ peptides. Thus the scientists believe that inhibitors of β-arrestin 2 could block the generation of Aβ40 and Aβ42, in early stages of Alzheimer’s when no symptoms have yet emerged.
Currently there is no cure for the neurodegenerative disease. Many candidate drugs that target the γ-secretase complex fail because they also target proteins essential to life. The discovery from Leuven could form a target for a treatment against Alzheimer’s disease with fewer side effects and that suppresses the very first symptoms of the disease. β-arrestin 2 inhibition could be beneficial in prevention of the adverse side effects currently associated with γ-secretase inhibition. This study thus provides a previously unexplored avenue for the development of a treatment that can act at a very early stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
25.08.2015 Oslo Cancer Cluster is inaugurating its NOK1bn (€107m) Innovation Park. None other than Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg officially opened the doors to the research park on August 24th.
21.08.2015 Novartis Pharma AG has secured all remaining rights to antibody hopeful ofatumumab. Seller GlaxoSmithKline is set to receive up to US$1bn (€919m) for the treatment for MS and other autoimmune indications.
11.08.2015 Biotech bug controllers Oxitec has been bought by US biotech Intrexon Corporation for $160m (€145m). The Oxford University spin-out specialises in environmentally friendly technology to control pests such as mosquitoes, which cause dengue fever and other diseases.
04.08.2015 In a deal worth US$65m upfront, AstraZeneca is again teaming up with long-time partner Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., this time to discover and develop RNA antisense drugs for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases.
The BioShake series contains high-speed mixer and thermal mixer for small and very small volumes in microplates and reaction tubes and allows for the first time high precise and efficient mixing in the microliter scale for a wide range of applications. more