Destroying Alzheimer’s-Associated Neurofibrillary Tangles (Buck Institute for Research on Aging)
In recent years we have made great progress in enhancing cells so that they can destroy waste products that otherwise accumulate and poison them. Our past work in this SENS strand is now being taken forward by two spin-out companies, Human Regenerative Biotechnologies and Ichor Therapeutics, which are pursuing this approach against atherosclerosis and age-related macular degeneration respectively. But equivalent problems also appear in all the major age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, where the waste collects in aggregates termed "tangles". We will seek to eliminate tangles, initially in cell culture models, by introducing genes that reinforce the ability of the cell's "incinerator" (the lysosome) to maintain its function.