How protein deposits damage neurons
In the brains of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s Disease, protein deposits are commonly observed. They are suspected to contribute to neuronal cell death. A team led by Mark Hipp and Ulrich Hartl from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, in collaboration with Konstanze Winklhofer and Jörg Tatzelt from the Ruhr University Bochum, discovered that protein aggregates in the cytoplasm are more harmful than aggregates in the nucleus because they interfere with important transport routes in the cell. The results are reported in “Science”.
Woerner et al. (2015): Cytoplasmic protein aggregates interfere with nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of protein and RNA, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2033; published online December 3 2015