Scientists have recently identified a bacterium which could pave the way towards new treatments to Alzheimer’s disease. The bacterium, called rhizolutin, is produced by a Streptomyces strain, and grows in the root zone of ginseng plants, a plant used as traditional medicine in Asia.
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Through cultivation in a medium fortified with ginseng powder, the researchers were able to increase the rhizolutin production of the bacterium by a factor of ten. This allowed them to determine the structure of this novel compound, which turns out to be a unique framework made of three rings bound together (a 7/10/6-tricyclic dilactone flanked by a seven-membered and a six-membered lactone ring).
A screening of natural product libraries indicated that rhizolutin is a drug lead that can dissociate amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and tau tangles (fiber-like aggregates of tau proteins), both of which are typical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Learn more details about this study over at Neuroscience News.
(Image Credit: Neuroscience News)