Alzheimer's enzyme important for myelin

Beta-secretase enzyme involved in Alzheimer's pathology is required for peripheral nerve myelination

Melissa Lee Phillips
Sep 21, 2006
An enzyme involved in Alzheimer's disease also contributes to myelination of peripheral nerves, according to a study in this week in Science. Inhibitors of this enzyme, called beta-Secretase, are considered to be prime candidates for Alzheimer's treatment, so the enzyme's role in myelination may have implications for potential side effects of these drugs, the authors say."It's a mild cautionary note to those who are developing the beta-secretase drugs," said Robert Vassar of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who was not involved in the study.In Alzheimer's disease, amyloid beta (Aß) peptide accumulates in the brain. A beta-secretase enzyme called BACE1 (ß-site APP cleaving enzyme-1) is required for Aß synthesis; in BACE knockout mice, no Aß peptide is produced .Although BACE1's role in Alzheimer's is fairly well-established, not much is known about the enzyme's possible role in normal physiology, said study senior author Christian Haass of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Münich. Led...
Michael Willemuknown Philip Wongeffective
mphillips@the-scientist.comD. Steinberg, "Testing Potential Alzheimer Vaccines," The Scientist, January 21, 2002.http://www.sciencemag.orgE. Russo, "The Search for Secretases," The Scientist, November 8, 1999.' Vassar Cai et al., "BACE1 is the major beta-secretase for generation of Abeta peptides by neurons," Nature Neuroscience, March 2001. Haass Willem Garratt et al., "Neuregulin, a factor with many functions in the life of a schwann cell," Bioessays, November 2000.

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?