Is 'molecular misreading' the key to Alzheimer's?

Professor Fred van Leeuwen

Professor Fred van Leeuwen
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Thursday, 21 September 2006

One of the pioneers of modern molecular neurobiology will discuss some of the latest developments in research into Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases at the University of Adelaide next week.

Professor Fred van Leeuwen, from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, is world-renowned for his discovery of a new mechanism, dubbed "molecular misreading", which occurs sporadically in the brain in an age-dependent fashion.

He will give the annual School Lecture hosted by the University's School of Molecular & Biomedical Science on Wednesday 27 September.

In "molecular misreading", genetic information is inaccurately translated inside individual cells, particularly neurones in the brain, to give rise to mutant proteins. One of these is the ubiquitin protein, which plays an essential part in a cell's waste disposal mechanism, the proteasome. Mutant ubiquitin effectively blocks the proteasome, leading to the accumulation of large amounts of defective protein inside affected cells.

Professor van Leeuwen has shown a clear association between the production of the mutant ubiquitin protein and the presence of "tangles" in the brains of Alzheimer patients, as well as an association with other neurological diseases.

WHAT: School of Molecular & Biomedical Science Lecture 2006
"Mutant ubiquitin in Alzheimer's disease: from gene to behaviour"
by Professor Fred van Leeuwen
(Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam)

WHERE: Florey Lecture Theatre, Level 1, Medical School North
University of Adelaide, Frome Road, Adelaide

WHEN: 4.30pm Wednesday 27 September

PLEASE NOTE: Anyone who wants to attend the lecture should RSVP to Sharon Boyd in the School of Molecular & Biomedical Science: (08) 8303 5331.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
Professor Fred van Leeuwen is available for media interviews from Tuesday to Friday, 26-29 September.

 

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