Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Stretching the limits on conducting wires July 25th, 2015

UT Dallas nanotechnology research leads to super-elastic conducting fibers July 24th, 2015

Nanopaper as an optical sensing platform July 23rd, 2015

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to Host One Week Symposium on Nanomedicine July 23rd, 2015

Discoveries

Smart hydrogel coating creates 'stick-slip' control of capillary action July 27th, 2015

Smaller, faster, cheaper: A new type of modulator for the future of data transmission July 27th, 2015

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point July 27th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Announcements

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point July 27th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Update on PCAOB Audited Financials July 27th, 2015

Global Corrosion Resistant Nano Coatings Market To 2015: Acute Market Reports July 27th, 2015

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