Editors' ChoiceAlzheimer’s Disease

Idolizing a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Sci. Signal.  24 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 404, pp. ec350
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad9034

A hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of a protein called β-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain. Choi et al. demonstrated that Idol, a protein linked to cholesterol metabolism, also has a crucial role in the development of Alzheimer’s-like disease in mice. Mice engineered to lack Idol were protected from developing Aβ deposits. This protection was associated with better clearance of Aβ and apolipoprotein E by macrophage-like brain cells called microglia. This discovery suggests that the Idol pathway may be a therapeutic target for preventing the formation of Alzheimer’s disease lesions.

J. Choi, J. Gao, J. Kim, C. Hong, J. Kim, P. Tontonoz, The E3 ubiquitin ligase Idol controls brain LDL receptor expression, ApoE clearance, and Aβ amyloidosis. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 314ra184 (2015). [Abstract]