USA team member
In a study published today in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers identified a new gene from mitochondrial DNA that encodes for a “microprotein,” named SHMOOSE. They analyzed the default and mutated versions of this small protein and found that the mutated version is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, brain atrophy and changes in energy metabolism.
The recent discovery of SHMOOSE comes as some are questioning the validity of research on amyloids, or plaques that form in the brain.
The team thinks that SHMOOSE, which they found in the mitochondria of neurons, is important for energy signaling and metabolism in the central nervous system. Levels of the microprotein found in the cerebrospinal fluid correlated with other markers of Alzheimer’s disease.