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Gene Ankrd16 Helps Prevent Protein Aggregates Found in Neuro Diseases

05:13 EDT 17 May 2018 | Genetic Engineering News

Researchers from the University of California- San Diego and the Scripps Research Institute report that they have identified a gene, Ankrd16, that helps prevent the protein aggregates observed in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It is known that abnormal aggregates can result when cells fail to transmit proper genetic information to proteins. Usually, the information transfer from gene to protein is carefully controlled--biologically "proofread" and corrected--to avoid the production of improper proteins. The current study (“ ANKRD16 prevents neuron loss caused by an editing-defective tRNA synthetase ”), published in Nature, reports that Ankrd16 rescued specific neurons (Purkinje cells) that die when proofreading fails. Without normal levels of Ankrd16, these nerve cells, located in the cerebellum, incorrectly activate the amino acid serine, which is then improperly incorporated into proteins and causes protein aggregation.  “Editing domains of aminoacyl tRNA synthetases correct tRNA charging errors to maintain translational fidelity. A mutation in the ...

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