Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCSD Researchers Identify Peptides That Bind To Alzheimer's Plaques

Date:
September 9, 2003
Source:
University Of California - San Diego
Summary:
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.

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.

Related Articles


"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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - San Diego. "UCSD Researchers Identify Peptides That Bind To Alzheimer's Plaques." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030909070454.htm>.
University Of California - San Diego. (2003, September 9). UCSD Researchers Identify Peptides That Bind To Alzheimer's Plaques. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030909070454.htm
University Of California - San Diego. "UCSD Researchers Identify Peptides That Bind To Alzheimer's Plaques." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030909070454.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins