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The tau protein is thought to poison nerve cells in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Chad Dickey, PhD, assistant professor of molecular pharmacology and physiology, University of South Florida (USF), has found that cancer related protein Akt may influence the fate of the tau protein that leads to bundles of tangled nerve cells now associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Akt is known to increase cancer cell survival capability and has become a target in the development of some cancer-inhibitor drugs.

For the first time a new function for the cancer-related protein Akt has been associated with a pathology that may help promote Alzheimer’s disease by preventing the removal of abnormal tau proteins and causing the balance within the cells to be disrupted.

The full article is provided by USF.