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2007 Grant - Huang
A Novel Metal-Complexing Antioxidant Targeting Alzheimer Amyloid
Xudong Huang, Ph.D.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
2007 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
A prime suspect in Alzheimer's disease is the tiny protein fragment beta-amyloid, which tends to clump together to form abnormal structures called plaques. Although beta-amyloid's exact role in the disease is not known, it is believed to be linked to a breakdown in cell-to-cell communication and the loss of brain cells.
Certain Alzheimer's research has focused on developing drugs that (1) destabilize beta-amyloid plaques by binding with metal components of the plaques and (2) fight nerve cell damage caused by highly reactive oxygen compounds, damage that has been linked to Alzheimer's. However, many of the drugs produced by such research have proven unsuitable because of low potency or harmful side effects.
For their proposed grant, Xudong Huang, Ph.D., and colleagues will study the efficacy of a new metal-binding antioxidant drug called XH2. The team will administer the drug in cell cultures and analyze any effects on beta-amyloid production, accumulation and toxicity. If the results prove promising, investigators will administer the drug to mice genetically engineered to develop an Alzheimer-like pathology. Outcomes of this study could lead to the development of disease-modifying Alzheimer drugs.