Protein Involved in Calcium Transport in Nerve Cells Linked to Alzheimer’s in Early Study

Protein Involved in Calcium Transport in Nerve Cells Linked to Alzheimer’s in Early Study
A protein that's involved in calcium transport within nerve cells was linked to sporadic Alzheimer's disease by scientists working in Spain. This protein, called STIM1, may hold promise as a biomarker of this common and non-familial form of Alzheimer’s. Importantly, common treatments for hypertension that are based on dihydropyridine — and known as calcium channel blockers — were seen to halt nerve cell death in a laboratory setting. The study, “STIM1 deficiency is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and triggers cell death in SH-SY5Y cells by upregulation of L-type voltage-operated Ca2+ entry,” was published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine. STIM1 is a protein found in the endoplasmic reticulum, a structure whose responsibilities include storing calcium in cells. STIM1 plays an important role on calcium uptake by regulating the activity of calcium channels (transporters) that exist in cell membranes. Calcium is a key element for the proper working of all the cells in our body. In the brain, calcium dysregulation is a known cause of sporadic Alzheimer’s. Most cases (95%) of Alzheimer's disease occur in a sporadic, or unknown, way. Only 5% of all cases are due to a genetic cause. Although STIM1 had already been associated with calcium regulation, a direct link between this protein and Alzheimer’s had not been studied. Researchers at Universidad de Extremadura (UEx) in Spain analyzed cultures of human brain tissue af
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