Parkinson’s Vax Enters Clinical Trials | The Scientist.
In what is possibly the biggest news of the year, scientists in Vienna are entering trials to vaccinate people against Parkinson’s Disease. The method is based upon building an immune response to alfa-synuclein, a protein naturally produced by the body. This smacks of the potential for massive organ failure due to a massive auto-immune response, akin to what we saw in the early days of gene therapy. I hope I’m wrong…
Here is the full press release: http://www.affiris.com/html/en/presse_medien/pressemeldungen.html
via Parkinson’s Vax Enters Clinical Trials | The Scientist.
A paper published online in Molecular Cell has reported the results of a study that blocked a certain protein from being expressed in mice. The protein AUF1 is critical for binding and degrading mRNA specific for pro-inflammatory molecules. In this study, the mice lack AUF1, and (not surprisingly) they have a dampened inflammatory response. A bit surprising is the news that, even in a germ-free environment, the mice age very quickly. After further study, authors concluded that the anti-inflammatory AUF1 not only binds and degrades mRNA for pro-inflammatory molecules, but it also acts as a transcription factor responsible for triggering the production of telomerase – a very strange double-role for this type of molecule. Without telomerase, the chromosomes of the mice become degraded very quickly and the mice age prematurely.
Here is the popular science write-up (though take the “shocked” tone of the article with a grain of salt – we’ve suspected that inflammation and aging were connected for years – it is my understanding that it’s the dual role of AUF1 that is surprising and cool): http://the-scientist.com/2012/05/24/the-aging-and-inflammation-link/
Here’s a link to the primary research article: http://www.cell.com/molecular-cell/abstract/S1097-2765%2812%2900341-3