Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > UIC chemists characterize Alzheimer's neurotoxin structure

Abstract:
Amyloid plaques, the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, are clumps of fiber-like misfolded proteins which many experts think cause this devastating neurodegenerative disease.

UIC chemists characterize Alzheimer's neurotoxin structure

Chicago | Posted on December 3rd, 2007

While effective treatment remains an elusive goal, new research by University of Illinois at Chicago chemists suggests a possible new approach.

Yoshitaka Ishii, associate professor of chemistry, and his students managed to capture and characterize a crucial intermediate step in the formation of amyloid plaque fibers, or fibrils, showing tiny spheres averaging 20 nanometers in diameter assembling into sheet-like structures comparable to that seen in formation of fibrils.

Fibrils made of small proteins called amyloid-beta are toxic to nerve cells, but intermediate spheres, including those identified by Ishii's group, are more than 10 times as poisonous. That has made the spherical intermediates a new suspect for causing Alzheimer's disease.

"The problem with studying the structure of this intermediate form is that it's so unstable," said Ishii. His team's approach, he said, was to 'freeze-trap' the fleeting intermediate form, then use solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance to determine its structure and electron microscopes to study its morphology, or shape.

Ishii and his coworkers confirmed that the intermediate spherical stage of amyloid is more toxic than the final-form fibrils. Their findings are the first to pinpoint sheet formation at the toxic intermediate stage in the misfolding of the Alzheimer's amyloid protein and support the notion that the process of forming the layered sheet structure might be what triggers toxicity and kills nerve cells.

"Our method characterized the detailed molecular structure of this unstable, intermediate species," Ishii said. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first characterization of detailed molecular structures for toxic amyloid intermediates. We found that the structure was very similar to the final (fibril) form, which wasn't expected at all."

Ishii said a complete determination of the intermediate structure remains to be done, but he is confident his lab will be able to do that. Once completed, the findings may provide pharmaceutical manufacturers with the information they need to create drugs that will prevent interaction between the toxic molecules and nerve cells.

Ishii said the method can also be applied to structural studies of proteins associate with other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's, and prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob.

"We're also interested in applying our technique in the nanoscience field to examine the formation process of peptide-based nano-assemblies," he said.

The findings were reported online yesterday in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

UIC students co-authoring the paper include former doctoral student Sandra Chimon, candidates Medhat Shaibat, Christopher Jones and Buzulagu Aizezi, and former undergraduate Diana Calero.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Paul Francuch

312-996-3457

Copyright © University of Illinois at Chicago

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Nanomedicine

Treatment of Cell Infection by Nanotechnology September 15th, 2014

Researchers Create World’s Largest DNA Origami September 11th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Discover Nanotechnology Method to Remove Limitations in Tumor Surgery September 11th, 2014

Iranian Nanotechnology Scientists Produce Polymeric Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering September 11th, 2014

Discoveries

Nanoribbon film keeps glass ice-free: Rice University lab refines deicing film that allows radio frequencies to pass September 16th, 2014

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

Rice rolls 'neat' nanotube fibers: Rice University researchers' acid-free approach leads to strong conductive carbon threads September 15th, 2014

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

Announcements

Carbon Sciences Developing Breakthrough Technology to Mass-Produce Graphene -- the New Miracle Material: Company Enters Into an Agreement With the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to Fund the Further Development of a New Graphene Process September 16th, 2014

Nanoribbon film keeps glass ice-free: Rice University lab refines deicing film that allows radio frequencies to pass September 16th, 2014

Effective Nanotechnology Innovations to Receive Mustafa Prize September 16th, 2014

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE