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Medical News and Perspectives
October 6, 2010

New Plaque-Boosting Protein a Possible Alzheimer Target

JAMA. 2010;304(13):1431. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1390

The discovery of a novel protein that boosts production of amyloid-β in the brain offers scientists a new target as they search for effective therapies to treat Alzheimer disease.

In order to develop strategies to reduce amyloid-β, the main constituent of the characteristic plaques of Alzheimer disease, some scientists have attempted to elucidate the events surrounding the generation of amyloid-β from amyloid precursor protein. In the new work, researchers at Rockefeller University in New York City identified the novel brain protein, γ-secretase activating protein (GSAP), and discovered that it selectively increases the production of amyloid-β through its interactions with the protease γ-secretase and the latter's substrate, the amyloid precursor protein carboxy-terminal fragment.

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