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BACE2 can destroy Alzheimer’s Peptide Beta Amyloid

Posted by MullanMichael on September 21, 2012

In a study recently published online in Molecular Neurodegeneration on September 17, Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida have identified an enzyme known as BACE2 that can destroy beta-amyloid (Aβ) protein. This protein is a fragment of a larger protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP) and is found in plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, the most common form of dementia.

After testing hundreds of enzymes for their ability to lower Aβ levels, BACE2 was found to be the most efficient, even though it is a close homolog to BACE1, the enzyme that makes the first out of two cuts in the production of beta-amyloid. BACE2 destroys Aβ by cutting it into smaller fragments. Previous research also showed that BACE2 prevents Aβ production by cutting down the middle of the Aβ portion in the APP; this, however, would not be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease since the process does not happen in the brain. The results of this study also indicate that inhibiting the functions of BACE2 and similar enzymes, due to the usage of certain clinical drugs and various reasons, may increase chances of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research team has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to further their studies on BACE2. This recent discovery identifies BACE2 as a potential candidate for therapeutic strategies in treating or preventing Alzheimer’s disease. ("Mayo Clinic")


"Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify New Enzyme To Fight Alzheimer's Disease." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Sep 2012. Web. 19 Sep 2012. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-jax/7087.html>.



Wendy Liu

Sept. 19, 2012