A pregnant protein could treat geriatric diseases

Recent research conducted by Dr. Amy Wyatt from Flinders University in South Australia has shown that a protein occurred during pregnancy could prevent and treat a series of diseases associated with age, such as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and a heart condition. These findings were reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Pregnancy is the process by which embryos and fetuses mature in the mother. This is a unique physiological state involving biological stress and promoting protein misfolding in the mother.

A system in a woman's body during pregnancy allows the mother to withstand high levels of protein misfolding during pregnancy. If the system fails, it may trigger the accumulation of misfolded proteins in pre-eclampsia, and may also lead to the occurrence of some age-related protein misfolding.

Researchers believe this may be the way the body tries to prevent the accumulation of misfolded proteins, which are produced when the body experiences stress such as inflammation. 

The study delved into the way the mother fights against protein misfolding - a process associated with pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a serious complication of childbirth. At this time, women have high blood pressure and a large amount of protein in the urine. If left untreated, the condition may progress, leading to seizures, stroke, liver failure and death. It usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy and can only be resolved after the baby has delivered.

Earlier studies have shown that in contrast to misfolded proteins identified in Alzheimer's disease, misfolded aggregates identified in pre-eclampsia consist of a different set of proteins, including Serpina1 (also known as alpha -1-antitrypsin).

Therefore, a better understanding of how mothers properly handle protein misfolding during pregnancy may provide new treatment strategies for the development of some of the most common and debilitating aging diseases.

Studies have shown that a large amount of PZP is produced in pregnant women to help maintain protein homeostasis during pregnancy. This "companion" function of PZP may also be of greater importance in humans because PZP levels in men and women can be elevated without being affected by pregnancy.

They want to know how body cells handle misfolded proteins after being stabilized by PZP. And then their study showed that PZP effectively inhibits the aggregation of misfolded proteins, including amyloid beta peptide, which forms plaques in the placenta of pre-eclampsia and in the brain of Alzheimer's disease. It also causes serious complications of long-term inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Pregnancy protein is usually associated with pregnancy, during which it may be the most abundant of plasma proteins. PZP stabilizes misfolded proteins and prevents them from forming plaques, which are associated with the most common diseases in the elderly.

Now Dr. Wyatt is working on why non-pregnant women have increased PZP levels in certain diseases.

Cite this article

CUSABIO team. A pregnant protein could treat geriatric diseases. https://www.cusabio.com/c-20862.html


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