Alzheimer’s: anti-cancer drugs as a new therapeutic approach
sickness Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The treatment of this neurodegenerative disease, which has not yet been cured, is stagnating despite the strong increase in knowledge in recent years and the development of new drugs. Hopeful therapeutic approaches have disappointed in clinical trials. Now researchers report that maybe cancer drugs Like new treatment approach could be eligible.
A research team has just proven that nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease undergo the same metabolic changes as cancer cells. The scientists published this important step in the development of possible treatment methods in the specialist journal “Cell metabolism“.
Better understand sporadic Alzheimer’s disease
As in a stream Message at the University of Innsbruck, the causes of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease are even more mysterious than the hereditary form of the disease, which is genetically determined and better documented.
The team led by Jerome Mertens from the Neural Aging Laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Innsbruck uses so-called induced neurons (iN) – nerve cells cultured from patient skin cells and containing age and all other epigenetic parameters given by the patient – to better understanding to catch the disease.
The similarity has been confirmed
Based on previous results, Larissa Traxler, a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Molecular Biology, and her colleagues at the Neural Aging Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists from the Salk Institute and the University of Denver (USA), were able to confirm in the now published work that Alzheimer’s disease nerve cells experience the same change in their metabolism (metabolism) pass as cancerous cells.
“Our previous studies have already shown that Alzheimer’s neurons Cancer cells are very similar – with the big difference that cancer cells grow out of control and Alzheimer’s neurons die out of control.”explains Traxler.
“In the present work, we therefore focused specifically on the metabolism of Alzheimer’s nerve cells and compared it with the very specific and well-documented metabolism of cancer cells”according to the researcher.
These studies have now confirmed the similarity: The so-called Warburg effect – a change in the metabolism of cancer cells from the adult to the embryonic stage – also occurs in the nerve cells of Alzheimer’s disease.
As Traxler explains, Alzheimer’s neurons make a very similar shift to the embryonic neuron metabolism through like cancer cells. Because in nerve cells, however, “As soon as they start dividing and cell death is triggered, they die, unlike cancer cells, which multiply uncontrollably”said the scientist.
Agents targeting the Warburg effect
In cancer therapy, there are already active ingredients specifically targeting these Warburg effect objective For this purpose, the protein pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is specifically targeted. This protein is increasingly produced in cancer cells, but also in Alzheimer’s neurons, and is considered to be one of the main regulators of the transition to embryonic metabolism.
“In a cellular experiment, we tested whether these PKM2 modulators also had an effect on Alzheimer’s disease nerve cells. Fortunately, we were able to show that the active ingredients that inhibit the Warburg effect in cancer cells also lead nerve cells of Alzheimer’s disease nerve cells to retain their adult state longer.”explains Traxler.
As a next step, molecular biologists now want to work on making these active ingredients suitable for the aging of nerve cells. to optimise and she to editthat they can optimally reach the brain and act there against Alzheimer’s disease. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
- University of Innsbruck: Alzheimer’s: anticancer drugs as a new therapeutic approach, (accessed: August 20, 2022), University of Innsbruck
- Larissa Traxler, Joseph R Herdy, Davide Stefanoni, Sophie Eichhorner, Silvia Pelucchi, Attila Szücs, Alice Santagostino, Yongsung Kim, Ravi K Agarwal, Johannes CM Schlachetzki, Christopher K Glass, Jessica Lagerwall, Douglas Galask, Fred H Gage, Angelo D’ Alessandro, Jerome Mertens: Warburg-like metabolic transformation underlies neuronal degeneration in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease; in: Cellular metabolism, (published: 2022-08-19), Cell metabolism
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.
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