Already known to cut proteins, the enzyme SPPL3 turns out to have additional talents, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins. In its newly discovered role, SPPL3 works without cutting proteins to activate T cells, the immune system’s foot soldiers. Because its structure is similar to that of presenilin enzymes, which have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers believe their findings could shed more light on presenilin functions, in addition to providing new insight into how the immune system is controlled.
A Blood Pressure Hormone Implicated in Psychosis; Nutrient Deficiency Linked to Brain Wasting in Huntington’s Disease; Autistic Mice Become Social with Drug Treatment
Recent research from The Johns Hopkins University suggests that in high stakes situations, a person's performance depends on two factors: the framing of the incentive in terms of a loss or a gain, and their fear of loss.
A multicenter team of researchers has identified an enzyme key to the survival and spread of glioblastoma cancer cells that is not present in healthy brain cells, making the enzyme a promising therapeutic target.
Neuroimaging scientists at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Copenhagen are leading a team that received a $1.5 million grant from the Obama administration’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative to create a next-generation brain imaging system. They hope to help unlock the secrets of mental illnesses, including dementia, Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia. The National Institutes of Health announced the award on Sept. 30.
Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient’s skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. The process requires growing the skin cells in a bath of proteins and chemical additives while turning on a gene to produce neural crest cells, which give rise to several adult cell types. The researchers say their work substantially expedites the creation of neural crest cells from any patient with a neural crest-related disorder, a tool that lets physicians and scientists study each patient’s disorder at the cellular level.
Researchers have discovered that three commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, alter the activity of enzymes within cell membranes. Their finding suggests that, if taken at higher-than-approved doses and/or for long periods of time, these prescription-level NSAIDs and other drugs that affect the membrane may produce wide-ranging and unwanted side effects.
A review of data from a long-term study of thousands of Americans suggests that a history of high blood pressure in midlife increases the risk of cognitive decline in old age, according to a report on the study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. The findings, the scientists say, indicate a treatable cause — hypertension — for at least some pervasive forms of cognitive deficit.