Mice whose cells have only 1 copy of the “antideath gene” p73 develop degenerative brain disease, according to a recent study by investigators led by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec (Wetzel MK et al. Neuron. 2008;59:708-721).
The findings may have relevance to humans because some patients with Alzheimer disease lack 1 copy of the p73 gene. Therefore, normal levels of the p73 protein may play an important role in protecting individuals against this disorder.
Hampton T. Alzheimer Disease Gene. JAMA. 2008;300(17):1989. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.531