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Korean Makes Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

Posted November. 29, 2005 07:51,   


A team of Korean researchers became the first in the world to prove how proteins which control the substance causing Alzheimer’s Disease work.

Professor Mook In-hee (42) of Seoul National University’s Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Research Institute announced yesterday that she proved the workings of the protein ERK1/2, which controls gamma-secretase activity for the first time in the world. Gamma-secretase is an enzyme critical for the production of the toxic beta-amyloid, the cause of Alzheimer’s.

Professor Mook’s research has been funded by Ministry of Science and Technology’s proteomics application technology development project. The research results were published in the renowned Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology online journal yesterday.

Alzheimer’s had been known to be caused by the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain, but the workings of gamma-secretase production had not been clear.

Mook’s research team experimented on mice and confirmed that the protein, ERF1/2, deactivates gamma-secretase and thus prevent the production of beta-amyloid. “Once we develop a substance that can continuously control gamma-secretase, we will be able to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s,” said Mook.