Aging Cell: “The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a shared drug target for aging and dementia”

Scientists at the Salk Institute have published the results of a study in the journal Aging Cell, showing the novel molecular link between aging and dementia through the identification of the molecular target for the Alzheimer’s disease drug J147.

Led by Dave Schubert, head of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, and Salk Research Associate Josh Goldberg, the team identified the molecular target of J147 as a mitochondrial protein called ATP synthase that helps generate ATP—the cell’s energy currency—within mitochondria. They showed that by manipulating its activity, they could protect neuronal cells from multiple toxicities associated with the aging brain. Moreover, ATP synthase has already been shown to control aging in C. elegans worms and flies. Now, J147 is nearing clinical trials to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

The Salk Institute has been a NOMIS partner since 2008.