A discovery that may improve treatment options for patients with neurodegenerative diseases has been made by scientists at King's College London and the University of Bath.
This finding centers on a molecule that plays a profound role in nerve cell development, and which is known to contribute to disease when it malfunctions. Previously it was thought that this molecule was limited to the nucleus of the cell (the organelle containing a cell's DNA and separated from the rest of the cell by a membrane) but this new study confirms an earlier finding by the same team that it can also be found in the cytoplasm (the watery interior of a cell).
The study also demonstrates for the first time that the cytoplasmic pool of this protein is functionally active.
This finding has important implications for research into neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and motor neuron disease.