The anti-cancer drug Gleevec has been shown to disable a newly discovered key protein linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. The protein, gSAP, stimulates production of toxic beta-amyloid which is linked to the development of plaques in the brain typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Gen He and Dr. Paul Greengard, both of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, have identified gamma secretase activating protein (gSAP). They’ve found that gSAP stimulates an enzyme called gamma secretase that is responsible for producing beta-amyloid. The researchers also discovered that the anti-cancer drug Gleevec binds to gSAP, preventing it from activating gamma secretase.