Myelin, a fatty sheath that protects nerves of the brain and spinal cord, can be destroyed during the disease course of multiple sclerosis (MS) but researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found the protein Klotho could play an important part in finding new therapies to repair it.
Approximately 3,400 people in Northwest Ohio are living with MS, with thousands more all across Ohio, and Pamela Vaughn of Lima is one of them.
“I’ve been taking Gilenya for a little under a year now and haven’t had any problems what so ever, except for my permanent problems I guess,” she said. “But I had been scheduled for an MRI about a month after I had started it and another, small, lesion had appeared on the scan, so, the short of it is, I really love seeing more researchers working on the myelin repair.”
Klotho is an enzyme that is encoded by the KL gene and, though the glut of research has been in it’s lack of it causing problems, some research does show an overexpression of it in mice extends their life span.
With that being said, today’s findings led by Carmela Abraham, PhD, professor of biochemistry, along with Cidi Chen, PhD, and other collaborators is pretty exciting.
They found an addition of Klotho to immature oligodenrocytes (oligodenrocytes form the electrical insulation, myelin, around the axons of the CNS cells) showed positive results in the repairing the damage MS has caused.
These researchers have also already found a quantity of molecules that can possibly increase how much Klotho is produced and, by doing so, believe they can help put their mark on history within the MS community.
That ‘mark’ being helping those with more aggressive types of the disease also finding much needed relief.
Dr. Abraham had noted that Klotho isn’t just an “age suppressor but also a tumor suppressor” and it stands to reason to see just how amazing a find this truly is.
There are many therapies aimed at those with the less aggressive types of MS but rare are the ones for those with PPMS and PRMS after all, it hasn’t been until just this past year anyone was even bothering to put money and time into it.
Sources: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/OHO/index.aspx; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130112013.htm; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2536606/; C.-D. Chen, J. A. Sloane, H. Li, N. Aytan, E. L. Giannaris, E. Zeldich, J. D. Hinman, A. Dedeoglu, D. L. Rosene, R. Bansal, J. I. Luebke, M. Kuro-o, C. R. Abraham. The Antiaging Protein Klotho Enhances Oligodendrocyte Maturation and Myelination of the CNS. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (5): 1927 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2080-12.2013; http://multiple-sclerosis-research.blogspot.com/2013/01/uclp-bosses-speak-out-against-actions.html