Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCSD Researchers ID Peptides That Bind to Alzheimer’s Plaques

09.09.2003


Two short protein segments, called peptides, have been identified by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, for their ability to recognize and bind to beta-amyloid-containing plaques that accumulate abnormally in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients, providing a possible “Trojan horse” mechanism to diagnose and treat the disorder.


Paul T. Martin, Ph.D.



“These peptide sequences are potential new tools for the delivery of medication to the amyloid plaques that are found in Alzheimer’s disease, or for new diagnostic tests that would allow early identification and treatment of the disease,” said the study’s senior author, Paul T. Martin, Ph.D., UCSD assistant professor of neurosciences.

In studies published in the September issue of the journal Neurobiology of Disease (published online Aug. 27, 2003), Martin and colleagues found that natural and synthetic versions of the peptides attach themselves to the abnormal plaque, while ignoring normal brain tissue.


Although past research has identified larger non-antibody and antibody proteins and small organic molecules that can bind to the amyloid plaques, the UCSD team said the newly discovered peptides may be a better choice for diagnosis and treatment. Smaller in size than previously identified proteins, the peptides may more easily cross the blood-brain barrier. In addition, some of the previously identified organic molecules could cause toxic side effects if given to people.

The scientists used a laboratory technique called phage peptide display to identify the two peptide sequences from a starting library of 50 million peptide sequences. These peptides were engineered to be exposed on the surface of bacteria by infecting the bacteria with bacteriophage (a bacterial virus). The peptide-expressing bacteria were then used to select for peptide sequences that bound amyloid plaques. An analysis of the bacteriophage showed that only the two peptides were able to seek out and bind to abnormal beta-amyloid.

“It is striking that we found only two peptide sequences, and that they were very similar in structure to one another,” Martin said. “This suggests that if other sequences do exist, they would most likely be variations on the structures we have already identified.”

He added that the UCSD team sees several potential applications for the peptides. First, they could be coupled to molecules designed to inhibit the toxicity of beta-amyloid plaques. The peptides might also be coupled to substances that stimulate the breakdown of plaques, or inhibit them from forming. A final application would be coupling the peptides to other markers that would highlight the abnormal plaque in imaging diagnostic tests. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed by cognitive tests involving patient interview, and a conclusive diagnosis requires postmortem analysis of the brain itself.

In addition to Martin, authors of the study included Christine Kang, staff research associate, and Vianney Jayasinha, an undergraduate student, in the UCSD Department of Neurosciences. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Contact:
Sue Pondrom
(619) 543-6163
spondrom@ucsd.edu

Sue Pondrom | UCSD
Further information:
http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2003/09_08_Martin.html
http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2002/04_15_Martin.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>