Decoding the regulation of cell survival – A major step towards preventing neurons from dying

An interdisciplinary and international research group led by Dr. Volker Busskamp from the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) has decoded the regulatory impact on neuronal survival of a small non-coding RNA molecule, so-called miRNA, at the highest resolution to date. This deciphering of gene regulation primes applications for strengthening neurons in order to protect them from neurodegenerative diseases. The extensive systems biology methods used here could become a new standard for the way miRNAs are researched. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Research in yeast leads to serendipitous finding about a central nervous system disorder

Researchers found that an important quality control mechanism in baker’s yeast is closely connected to hypomyelinating leukodystrophy, a debilitating disease found in children. The findings could indicate a therapeutic approach for this rare disease, as well as for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Potential indicator for the early detection of dementias

Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a factor that could support the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. This cytokine is induced by cellular stress reactions after disturbances of the mitochondria, the “cell’s power plants,“ as neuropathologists write in the journal Cell Reports. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

New control of cell division discovered

When a cell divides, its constituents are usually evenly distributed among the daughter cells. Researchers have now identified an enzyme that guarantees that cell constituents that are concentrated in organelles without a membrane are properly distributed. Their discovery opens up new opportunities for the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging processes and viral infections. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

New Control of Cell Division Discovered

When a cell divides, its constituents are usually evenly distributed among the daughter cells. UZH researchers have now identified an enzyme that guarantees that cell constituents that are concentrated in organelles without a membrane are properly distributed. Their discovery opens up new opportunities for the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging processes and viral infections. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

The big clean up after stress

When cells become stressed, they activate specific response patterns. Würzburg researchers have identified new details of these responses, which can help to get a better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

The brain’s “rising stars”: New options against Alzheimer’s?

A study by scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) points to a novel potential approach against Alzheimer’s disease. In studies in mice, the researchers were able to show that blocking a particular receptor located on astrocytes normalized brain function and improved memory performance. Astrocytes are star-shaped, non-neuronal cells involved in the regulation of brain activity and blood flow. The findings are published in the “Journal of Experimental Medicine” (JEM). (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Optical tools to detect metabolic changes linked to disease

A team led by engineers has opened a window into the cell by developing an optical tool that can read metabolism at subcellular resolution, without having to perturb cells with contrast agents, or destroy them to conduct assays. The researchers were able to use the method to identify specific metabolic signatures that could arise in diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

ASK the enzyme: New potential targets for cancer

New understandings of how molecules affect the activity of an enzyme could lead to potential targets for the treatment of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Cellular power outage

A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease are deposits of aggregated proteins in the patient’s cells that cause damage to cellular functions. Scientists report that, even in normal cells, aberrant aggregation-prone proteins are continually produced due to partial failure of the respiratory system. Unless they are removed by degradation, aggregates accumulate preferentially in the mitochondria, the cellular power plants, ultimately blocking energy production. In order to get rid of these toxic aggregates, cells have developed an elaborate protein quality control system, which the researchers now describe in the journal Cell. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Weeds in the brain

A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s is the accumulation of toxic protein deposits in the nerve cells of patients. Once these aggregates appear, they begin to proliferate like weeds. If and how these deposits damage nerve cells and lead to their demise remains largely unexplained. A detailed insight into the three-dimensional structure of the protein aggregates should help researchers to solve this puzzle. Now, using cryo-electron tomography, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have succeeded in generating a high-resolution, three-dimensional model of the aggregates responsible for Huntington’s disease. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

The brain’s defense cells live longer than expected

In mice, microglia may persist the entire lifespan of the animal. The cells’ lifetime may be linked to their role in immune memory and neurodegenerative diseases (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

How protein interactions drive cellular death

Researchers use a simplified model of a protein network to explain how apoptosis is regulated, whose malfunction is linked to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Disease-busting ‚recycling bins‘ in our cells now better understood

Scientists have made an important step in understanding how cells keep themselves clean and healthy — a finding that may have implications for combating neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Overactive Scavenger Cells May Cause Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s

For the first time, researchers at the University of Zurich have demonstrated a surprising effect of microglia, the scavenger cells of the brain: If these cells lack the TDP-43 protein, they not only remove Alzheimer’s plaques, but also synapses. This removal of synapses by these cells presumably lead to neurodegeneration observed in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

CRTD receives 1.56 Mill. Euro BMBF-funding for retinal disease research

The research groups lead by Prof. Dr. Elly Tanaka, Prof. Dr. Marius Ader and Dr. Mike Karl at the DFG-Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) – Cluster of Excellence at TU Dresden, have received funding in the BMBF program “Validation of the technological and societal innovation potential of scientific research – VIP+” with their CLEANSIGHT research team. The research project will focus on validating a retinal cell–based screening platform for fast and efficient identification of small molecules for the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Unravelling the mystery of DNA attacks in cells‘ powerhouse could pave way for new cancer treatments

A five-year study has found the mechanism responsible for repairing damage to mitochondrial DNA. This discovery could pave the way for new treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, say the researchers. This research may also have important implications for clinical advances in so called ‘three-parent baby’ mitochondrial donation. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Combating iron in the brain: Researchers find anti-aging micromolecule

The older we get, the more our brain ages. Cognitive abilities decline and the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease or having a stroke steadily increases. A possible cause is the accumulation of iron molecules within neurons, which seems to be valid for all vertebrates. In a collaborative research project, scientists found that this iron accumulation is linked to a microRNA called miR-29. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Neurons modulate the growth of blood vessels

A team of researchers shake at the foundations of a dogma of cell biology. By detailed series of experiments, they proved that blood vessel growth is modulated by neurons and not, as assumed so far, through a control mechanism of the vessel cells among each other. The results are groundbreaking for research into and treatment of vascular diseases, tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Process cells use to destroy damaged organelles now identified

Researchers have uncovered the mechanism that cells use to find and destroy an organelle called mitochondria that, when damaged, may lead to genetic problems, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory disease, and aging. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Rejuvenating the brain’s disposal system

Heidelberg, 21 December 2016 – A characteristic feature of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of so called amyloid plaques in the patient’s brain – aggregates of misfolded proteins that clump together and damage nerve cells. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Munich and the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) Munich have now discovered a strategy to help the brain remove amyloid plaques. The work is published today in The EMBO Journal. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Cancer research: How cells die by ferroptosis

Ferroptosis is a recently discovered form of cell death, which is still only partially understood. Scientists have now identified an enzyme that plays a key role in generating the signal that initiates cell death. Their findings could now give new impetus to research into the fields of cancer, neurodegeneration and other degenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Cancer Research – How Cells Die by Ferroptosis

Ferroptosis is a recently discovered form of cell death, which is still only partially understood. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have now identified an enzyme that plays a key role in generating the signal that initiates cell death. Their findings, published in two articles in the journal ‘Nature Chemical Biology’, could now give new impetus to research into the fields of cancer, neurodegeneration and other degenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Heat shock regulator controlled by on/off switch and phosphorylation

Researchers have determined how the master transcriptional regulator of the heat shock response, known as heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), is controlled in yeast. Understanding how HSF1 works, how it is regulated, and how to fine tune it in a cell-type specific way could lead to therapies for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Aberrant Tau Proteins Put Neuronal Networks to Sleep

Drug “Rolofylline” a Possible Antidote

Bonn (Germany), 6th October 2016. In a study published in the journal PNAS scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) present new findings on the role of the protein Tau in certain brain diseases. Their report which is based on laboratory studies suggests that the drug “Rolofylline” could possibly alleviate learning and memory problems associated with aggregating Tau proteins. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)