Category: Blog

Abeta Epitope DNA and Peptide Vaccination: Bridging the ‘Therapeutic Threshold’ for Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

Immunotherapeutic clearance of beta-amyloid is the preferred regenerative medicine approach to the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but existing attempts to develop such therapies have been fraught with side-effects and limited efficacy, as well as concerns about clinical translatability. A new approach using DNA vaccines is showing great promise, and has the potential to be safe and cheap enough for deployment in pre-clinical AD – before any irreversible memory loss can occur.

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New Evidence of the Limits of Dominant Therapeutic Paradigms

Biomedical research has traditionally focused on identifying and correcting the abnormalities in metabolic pathways that lead to disease states. However, this approach suffers numerous side-effects due to the complexity of metabolism. It is also inappropriate to treating many age-related diseases, which arise as a result of damage accumulated over decades of normal function. Regenerative engineering, by focusing instead on the removal of this damage, largely avoids both of these chronic problems.

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Zscan4: The Possible Basis of ALT

In addition to telomerase, some cancer cells become immortalised via the phenomenon known as ALT (“Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres”). A new paper published in Nature suggests that Zscan4, a gene essential for telomere maintenance in embryonic stem cells, may be the driver of the ALT mechanism.

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Allotopic Expression of Yeast COX2: A New Leap Forward for MitoSENS

To date, three of the thirteen OXPHOS genes still encoded in the mitochondria have been allotopically expressed (AE) in human cells with mutated versions of the same gene, thereby rescuing a respiratory defect. Now we have the first report of a new gene, COX2, being allotopically expressed in yeast, by mutating the gene to overcome the hydrophobicity of the mitochondrial membrane; a similar mutation has been shown to underlie the ability of the unusual case of the soybean COX2, which is a case of a native nuclear-encoded COX2 gene.

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Refining Intravenous IgG Pools for AD Immunotherapy

Intravenously delivered immunoglobulin G (IVIgG) is a mixture of antibodies extracted from human blood which has demonstrated promising preliminary results in clearing the beta-amyloid (Abeta) deposits that drive the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study compares multiple commercial sources of IVIgG and finds significant differences in their Abeta-binding activity, suggesting that results from impending clinical trials are likely to be highly dependent on the specific “brand” of IVIgG in use.

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