GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Sep 28, 2007

Gene’s Role in Protein Aggregation in Dementia Discovered

  • Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville discovered how loss of a gene, progranulin, can lead to accumulation of toxic TDP-43 proteins in the brain, which results in frontal temporal dementia (FTD).

    Previous research indicated that a form of FTD not caused by tau accumulation in neurons was due to mutations in the progranulin gene. Another study showed that TDP-43, which in its normal state is believed to help genes produce proteins, clogs brains of patients with FTD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    In the current study, the Mayo scientists investigated whether progranulin is involved in TDP-43 processing. Suppressing progranulin expression in neurons led to errant splicing of TDP-43 by the caspase 3 enzyme. When cut, these TDP-43 fragments move into the body of the cell and begin to stick together and form a thicket that grows and eventually disrupts the normal functioning of the neuron, the Mayo team reports.

    The study appears in the September 26 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.


GEN Jobs powered by connects you directly to employers in pharma, biotech, and the life sciences. View 40 to 50 fresh job postings daily or search for employment opportunities including those in R&D, clinical research, QA/QC, biomanufacturing, and regulatory affairs.
More »

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

The Triple Package and Success

One theory for explaining “success," put forward by Amy Chua Jed Rubenfeld, posits cultural traits such as a superiority complex, personal insecurity and impulse control. Union College professors Joshua Hart and Christopher Chabris counter that intelligence, conscientiousness, and economic advantage are the most likely elements of success, regardless of ethnicity. Do you think that Hart-Chabris make a better argument for achieving success than the Chua-Rubenfeld theory?

More »