‘Garbage Disposal’ Failure and Alzheimer’s

Posted on 3 July 2015

 Lysosome visualization with fluorescent dye

Lysosome visualization with fluorescent dye

Cells use various mechanisms to degrade and recycle material, removing faulty machinery or incorrect proteins efficiently for the most part. The lysosome, one of these ‘disposal’ units, breaks a huge assortment of molecules down with various enzymes and an acidic interior. A failure or dysregulation of this overall system has been implicated in aging and new research may have confirmed it could be a fundamental aspect of Alzheimer’s disease.   Large numbers of lysosomes appear near the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease and levels of the enzyme β-secretase are increased – an enzyme involved with producing the toxic amyloid peptide implicated in plaque formation. Interestingly, these lysosomes appear to be dysfunctional and lack a key degrading enzyme able to remove β-secretase; enabling a vicious circle of accumulating plaque. Correcting this lysosomal dysfunction could prove another route of attack in the battle against Alzheimer’s. Read more at Medical Express

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