Protein Involvement On Metal Homeostasis May Hold Implications In Alzheimer’s Disease

Protein Involvement On Metal Homeostasis May Hold Implications In Alzheimer’s Disease
In a recent study published in Angewandte Chemie, a team of researchers from the University of Melbourne have identified that a specific protein known for its involvement in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has properties that could be beneficial for human health. The study findings may help scientists to improve their understanding on the complexity of brain chemistry behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In the study titled “A Functional Role for Aβ in Metal Homeostasis? N-Truncation and High-Affinity Copper Binding”, an international team of scientists, led by Dr Simon Drew at the University of Melbourne and Prof Wojciech Bal at the Polish Academy of Sciences, the team showed that a shorter form of the beta amyloid protein works as a sponge to bind a metal that when in excess can harm brain tissue. Scientists have gained interest in studying the role of beta-amyloid as a precursor in the development of AD, especially because clumps of the protein are formed in brains of people suffering from the condition. Two decades ago, high levels of copper were noticed within these clumps. Copper is fundamental to health, however high levels can produce damaging free radicals. Researchers started to question if this copper might be a precursor of AD and discovered that beta-amyloid could bind to the metal and prevent it from producing these harmful free radicals. “This short form has been
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