New Method Promises to Quickly Identify Abnormal Proteins Involved in Alzheimer’s

New Method Promises to Quickly Identify Abnormal Proteins Involved in Alzheimer’s
Researchers developed a new method for capturing proteins implicated in several diseases, including Alzheimer's. The technique promises to accelerate the identification of altered proteins underlying disease progression (biomarkers). This knowledge may later translate into new targeted therapeutics. The study, “A mutant O-GlcNAcase enriches Drosophila developmental regulators,” was published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. The mechanisms of disease are often shared through a variety of different syndromes from neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, to cancers, metabolic syndromes (type 2 diabetes), and cardiovascular diseases. Modifications in sugars that compose certain proteins is one such mechanism that is deregulated. The correct identification of these altered proteins is a stepping stone toward our understanding of their role in disease development. Now, researchers at the University of Bradford in the U.K. and the University of Dundee in Scotland developed a new methodology where altered proteins — those exhibiting a specific modification — are easily trapped. The alteration in question is the addition of a sugar, which then affects the function of the protein. While protein modifications are a normal and necessary process for their correct processing and function, sometimes this procedure goes awry, which may cause detrimental effects to the cell's functioning and well-being. Previous methods for identifying and capturing these proteins were inefficient, as the sugar modi
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