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Real LifeIn a significant discovery, a group of proteins long associated with cancer research has been shown to have an important link to Alzheimer's disease. Among other implications, this advance could fast-track Alzheimer's drug development, as there are already relevant therapies in active cancer trials.
The protein family, protein kinase C, also known as PKC, helps cells throughout the body and brain respond to cues from their environment—it is an information processor, or "signal transducer." Balancing the activities of these proteins so that they are active in just the right proportion is essential for cellular homeostasis—functional balance in all of our cells. In a first-of-its-kind study supported by Cure Alzheimer's Fund (CAF), Dr. Alexandra Newton, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), was able to show that excessively active PKC is associated with Alzheimer's, thus identifying PKC as a potential therapeutic target.
Newton's study was funded as part of CAF's ambitious new "Genes to Therapies" (G2T) program. "Cure Alzheimer's Fund was instrumental," she said, "both in pointing out the mutations and in funding this study. They have changed the direction of our research."
"Collaboration is one of the founding principles of our innovative consortium," said CAF Chairman Jeffrey Morby. "This groundbreaking research is yet another example of what can be accomplished when you encourage fluid working relationships between the best scientists in the world."