Proteomics Analysis Reveals New Alzheimer’s Targets; Beyond Beta-Amyloid and Tau

Allan Levey, M.D, Ph.D, Chair of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, gave a a talk titled "Proteomics Discovery of New Alzheimer's Disease Targets," as part of the Dementia: Research Milestones and Policy Priorities session on Friday, Feb. 13, at the 2015 annual AAAS convention taking place in San Jose, California, February 12-16, 2015, The theme of this year’s AAAS meeting is “Innovations, Information, and Imaging.” Dr. Levey described a "beyond the usual suspects" approach to probing for proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease pathology. "Usual suspects" refers to beta-amyloid and tau, two proteins that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Some experimental approaches to Alzheimer's treatment aim at curbing beta-amyloid, but have not proven effective. Taking their proteomics approach, Dr. Levey and his team have already identified a previously unrecognized type of pathology in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, seen at early stages of the disease. They found tangle-like structures that sequester proteins critical for RNA splicing, a discovery that may have implications for the disease mechanism. A related article, entitled “U1 Small Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Complex and RNA Splicing Alterations in Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published in the February 10, 2015 issue of PNAS. Last year, Emory was awarded a five-year, $7.2 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to extend this work in collaboration with five other Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers around the country.The image depicts the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complex. [Press release] [PNAS articlet]
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