The Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health
The inflammatory mediator Lactorferrin induces rapid and pronounced amyloidogenic processing of APP
Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation
The balance of iron and response to inflammation (e.g. through infection) in the cell are closely linked and has previously been implicated in Alzheimers disease. Lactoferrin, an iron transport protein produced in conditions such as increased inflammation was recently discovered by Dr Wong to also bind Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). The binding of lactoferrin to APP promotes the production of ?-amyloid; the main peptide found in senile plaques within the brains of Alzheimers disease patients. At first this interaction may be a way of protecting the body by temporarily locking the iron safely within the cell and out of harms way, however, more persistent presence of lactoferrin could lead to greater ?-amyloid levels which is known to cause neuronal death in Alzheimers disease. By investigating the ability of lactoferin binding to APP, Dr Wong hopes to understand the significance of this interaction and identify a potential new drug target.