home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

Studies Identify BACE1 Enzyme As A Therapeutic Target For Alzheimer's Disease

  March, 5 2001 9:59
your information resource in human molecular genetics
A therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease

Amyloid plaques, the characteristic lesions found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, are extracellular deposits of the beta-amyloid petide (Abeta). The production of Abeta peptide involves two enzymes: alpha-secretase and beta-secretase. Two studies in this issue (Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 4, No. 3, 01 Mar 2001) show that transgenic mice lacking the BACE1 isoform of the beta-secretase no longer produce the Abeta peptide. Vassar and colleagues could not measure any appreciable levels of Abeta peptide in the brains of these mutant mice, even when they were crossed with mice that overproduce the APP protein (the source of the Abeta peptide). In another paper, Wong and colleagues showed specifically that neurons from BACE1-deficient mutant mice failed to secrete Abeta peptide. The lack of secretion in BACE1 knockout mice was maintained even when the authors introduced the Swedish variant of APP, a mutation known to be associated with Alzheimer's disease. A big surprise from these studies is that deletion of the BACE1 secretase had no detrimental effects that could be detected on the viability or morphology of these mice. This identifies the BACE1 enzyme as a very appealing target for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer's patients; drugs that inhibit BACE1 would block the production of Abeta peptide and would be predicted to have few side effects.


Dr. Philip C. Wong
Department of Pathology
Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
558 Ross Research Building, 720 Rutland Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2196
tel: +1 410-502-5168
fax: +1 410-955-9777
e-mail: wong@jhmi.edu

Dr. Robert Vassar
Amgen Inc.
One Amgen Center Drive
MS 29-2-B
Thousand Oaks, California 91320
tel: +1 805-447-1289
fax: +1 805-480-1347
e-mail: rvassar@amgen.com

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.