The ‘Tipping Point’ Toward Alzheimer’s


Scientists are not yet clear on how the tau protein changes from a benign protein essential for normal function in our brains into the toxic neurofibrillary tangles that are a signature of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

But a new method developed by researchers at UC Santa Barbara gives the ability to control and follow in real time the process by which it happens. The technique employs a novel use of low voltage electricity as a surrogate for the natural signals that trigger the protein to fold and assemble, both for its normal function in the brain and in the runaway process leading to often fatal disease.

“This method provides scientists a new means to trigger and simultaneously observe the dynamic changes in the protein as it transitions from good to bad,” said Daniel E. Morse(link is external),  Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and senior author of a paper(link is external) that appears in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

News Date: 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023