Tiago Outeiro, Principal Investigator of Cell and Molecular Neuroscience Lab and his team recently demonstrated glycation as a novel drug target that can be explored in neurodegenerative diseases. The results, which were the product of an international collaboration were published in Brain, one of the most prestigious journals of neurology.
Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the misfolding and accumulation of various proteins. Alpha-synuclein is a protein linked to Parkinson’s Disease and others disorders known as synucleinopathies. In this study, researchers demonstrated that glycation (a chemical reaction between sugars and proteins) increased alpha-synuclein toxicity by inducing neurodegeneration and reducing motor activity in laboratorial models. Using glycation inhibitors, the team observed a decreased in accumulation and aggregation of alpha-synuclein which represents a reduction of toxicity. Thus, glycation can be an important therapeutic target in synucleinopathies as well as in other neurodegenerative diseases.
"Since glycation affects not only the alpha-synuclein but also a key protein in Huntington's Disease, the use of anti-glycation agents may mitigate or reverse the toxic effects of these proteins, and thus contribute to a new therapy that covers several neurodegenerative diseases", said Hugo Vicente Miranda, the first author of the study.
(See more info about glycation in Huntington's Disease here)
Tiago Fleming Outeiro and Hugo Vicente Miranda from Cell and Molecular Neuroscience Lab.