Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Alzheimer's Disease Associated With Mitochondrial Microprotein Variants

Researchers at the University of Southern California, the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, and elsewhere outline a role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk for a small protein dubbed SHMOOSE, found by using mass spectrometry and other experiments that followed up on an Alzheimer's-associated SNP in mitochondrial DNA. As they report in Molecular Psychiatry, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of SHMOOSE appear to track with everything from age to tau levels and white matter features in the brain, while alterations affecting the newly described mitochondrial microprotein appear to correspond with a 20 percent to 50 percent increase in AD risk. In a series of follow-up experiments, the authors saw transcriptome shifts in the rat hypothalamus by RNA sequencing after administering the SHMOOSE microprotein to the brain, as well as increase expression of the microprotein in post-mortem brain samples from individuals with AD, among other apparent brain effects. "[W]e showed mitochondrial DNA variants can associate with several related neurobiological phenotypes," they report, adding that "correlation among CSF levels of SHMOOSE, CSF AD-related biomarkers (e.g., tau), and brain white matter suggests SHMOOSE has potential as a biomarker."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find structural network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.