As a result of a slow decline of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, individuals who have been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) exhibit changes in their mobility, language, behavior, and even personality. Then, in the later stages of the disease, when it has spread to other parts of the brain, memory issues may tragically develop. However, because the researchers did not know the real composition of the stuck accumulations of proteins that were observed in some of the more uncommon instances of FTD, they had very few targets to investigate in order to create possible therapeutic interventions. The good news is that this is about to change.
Stephan Tetter, a protein scientist at MRC-LMB, Benjamin Ryskeldi-Falcon, a molecular biologist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in the UK, and the one who led the study, along with their colleagues retrieved protein samples from the brain tissue of four individuals who had died of FTD and donated their brains to study. This was done in order to obtain a clearer look at the situation and get fresher data. As a result, Tetter and his colleagues did not recognize that the protein was not FUS until after they decoded those proteins, which included connecting the building elements that provide any protein its form. Finally, they came to agree with the fact that the protein in question was TAF15, which is another protein belonging to the same protein family.
This is an unexpected result because, before this study, TAF15 was not known to form amyloid filaments in neurodegenerative diseases, and no structures of the protein existed, explains Tetter.
According to Tetter, this is an unexpected conclusion since, before this work, it was not known that TAF15 was capable of forming amyloid filaments in neurological disorders, and there were no components of the protein that existed.
Meanwhile, TAF15 and FTD are still in their infancy, and we will have to wait and watch how the study develops. Until then, let’s support scientists’ work by sharing their work and acknowledging their progress.
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