Research & Development News Channel

Chaperone compounds offer new approach to Alzheimer's treatment

A team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), Weill Cornell Medical College, and Brandeis University has devised a wholly new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease involving the so-called retromer protein complex. Retromer plays a vital role in neurons, steering amyloid precursor protein (APP) away from a region of the cell where APP is cleaved, creating the potentially toxic byproduct amyloid-beta, which is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's.

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Enzyme revealed as promising target to treat asthma and cancer

In experiments with mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified an enzyme involved in the regulation of immune system T cells that could be a useful target in treating asthma and boosting the effects of certain cancer therapies. In research described online April 6 in Nature Immunology, the investigators show that mice without the enzyme SKG1 were resistant to dust mite-induced asthma.

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Virus-fighting genes linked to mutations in cancer

Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development. Our understanding of the biological processes that cause cancer is limited. UV light and smoking are two well-understood cancer-causing processes. Exposure to either of these processes causes distinguishable patterns of genetic damage, or 'signatures', on the genome that can lead to cancer.

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Yeast provides genetic clues on drug response

Why do people respond differently to the same drug? For the first time, researchers have untangled genetic and environmental factors related to drug reactions, bringing us a step closer to predicting how a drug will affect us. Researchers at the University of British Columbia exposed 6,000 strains of yeast to 3,000 drugs. Yeast strains were modified so their response could be measured.

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Cancer's thirst for copper can be targeted

Drugs used to block copper absorption for a rare genetic condition may find an additional use as a treatment for certain types of cancer, researchers at Duke Medicine report. The researchers found that cancers with a mutation in the BRAF gene require copper to promote tumor growth. These tumors include melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that kills an estimated 10,000 people in the United States a year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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Experimental drug shows promise for treatment-resistant leukemias

Research in mice and human cell lines has identified an experimental compound dubbed TTT-3002 as potentially one of the most potent drugs available to block genetic mutations in cancer cells blamed for some forms of treatment-resistant leukemia. Results of the research by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators, described March 6 in the journal Blood, show that two doses a day of TTT-3002 eliminated leukemia cells in a group of mice within 10 days.

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Caffeine against Alzheimer's disease

As part of a German-French research project, a team led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer's disease. The two-years project was supported with 30,000 Euro from the non-profit Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) and with 50,000 Euro from the French Partner organization LECMA.

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