ATF5 protein

Lower amount of ATF5 protein in cortex of HD patients


A new research has been done as per which a protein ATF5 whose function is to protect the nerve cells gets decreased in the cortex of the brains of those suffering from Huntington’s disease. These scientists belonged to Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa in and they found out those areas where the ATF5 protein gets accumulated and in those areas, the Huntingtin protein also gets accumulated, which is responsible for causing the Huntington’s disease. This protein gets embedded in the different parts of the brain.


In their research, the scientists found out that the protein ATF-5 is present in the brains of both healthy and unhealthy patients, but in the brains of patients with HD, the protein ATF-5 is only found in the nerve-cell structures.  Since reduced ATF5 causes the Huntington’s disease, any intervention which causes this protein to increase can actually prevent HD. Through research, it was proved that the protein ATF5 is important because it helps in safeguarding the nerve cells when the patient gets epileptic fits. This protein is also important to maintaining the cognitive features of the brain. In patients with Huntington’s disease, the protein amounts were found to be less in brain areas such as cortex. 


The ATF5 was stopped from doing its job by other, substances, due to which there was a decrease in the nerve cells and their destruction. The results were yielded in the study called The Neuroprotective Transcription Factor ATF5 Is Decreased. The study concluded that since reduced ATF5 caused, decreased neurons, it also led to huntingtin-induced apoptosis. The study was done using the brains of the dead patients, and it was found that reduction in the levels of ATF5 proteins caused mutation in neurons. The results of this study were published in the magazine Acta Neuropathologica. 


Huntington’s disease is caused by the mutation in the huntingtin protein, which leads to uncontrollable physical movements of the patients suffering from it. The symptoms of this disease start manifesting in the age group of 30-40. The major symptoms of this disease include impaired speech and physical movements of the patients. Apart from that, the patients have reduced understanding. This disease is hereditary and there are 50-50 chances of this disease getting passed to the children of those who have it. Efforts are happening in different parts of the world to find a cure for this disorder.

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