AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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New Player in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis Identified

Findings may provide new direction for discovery of therapeutics

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have shown that a protein called membralin is critical for keeping Alzheimer’s disease pathology in check. The study shows that membralin regulates the cell’s machinery for producing beta-amyloid (or amyloid beta, A?), the protein that causes neurons to die in Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our results suggest a new path toward future treatments for Alzheimer’s disease,” says Huaxi Xu, Ph.D., the Jeanne and Gary Herberger Leadership Chair of SBP’s Neuroscience and Aging Research Center. “If we can find molecules that modulate membralin, or identify its role in the cellular protein disposal machinery known as the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) system, this may put the brakes on neurodegeneration.”

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