Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists Characterize Alzheimer's Plaque Precursor

Date:
November 23, 2005
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Using a nuclear magnetic resonance technique, University of Illinois at Chicago chemists have obtained the first molecular-level images of precursors of bundled fibrils that form the brain plaques seen in Alzheimer's disease.

Using a nuclear magnetic resonance technique, University of Illinois at Chicago chemists have obtained the first molecular-level images of precursors of bundled fibrils that form the brain plaques seen in Alzheimer's disease.

Related Articles


Untangling the molecular structure of these pre-fibril forms, which may be the key neurotoxins in Alzheimer's, may help identify targets for new drugs to combat many neurodegenerative diseases.

Microscopic bundled fibrils made of proteins called amyloid-beta are presumed to be the toxic culprits in the senile plaques found in the brain with Alzheimer's. But there is increasing evidence that even smaller assemblies of amyloid-beta found prior to formation of pre-fibrils are the real nerve-killers. Scientists have been frustrated that electron microscope images of these nanometer-scale spherical assemblies have failed to reveal any distinct molecular structure.

Yoshitaka Ishii, assistant professor of chemistry at UIC, and graduate student Sandra Chimon have now determined this structure using a methodology developed with high-resolution solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, or SSNMR. Details were reported in a Communication article last month in JACS, the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"This is the first case showing that these intermediate species, the smaller assemblies, have a well-defined structure," said Ishii, who conducted a two-year search to map the structure of the pre-fibril assemblies, then spent another year confirming his findings.

Ishii's technique uses what is called time-resolution SSNMR to view nanoscale spectral images of this chemical formation.

Thioflavin, a dye commonly used to stain amyloid senile plaques, is applied to detect formation of the intermediate assemblies in florescence. The intermediate sample is then frozen to capture quickly changing spectral images of the molecules before they can self-assemble into fibril-forming sheets.

The resulting SSNMR "snapshots" provide a structural diagram for finding molecular binding targets that may stop proteins from misfolding, which may stop Alzheimer's disease from developing.

"We're interested in how the molecules assemble in this shape, and eventually into fibrils," Ishii said. "We wanted to find out what kind of structure each amino acid takes in a certain site of a protein at the atomic level. It gives us an idea of how these molecules interact with each other to make this structure."

Ishii said the SSNMR technique may be used to study small chemical subunits involved in diseases such as Parkinson's and prion diseases like mad cow or Creutzfeld-Jacob, to name just some of the 20 or so neurodegenerative diseases characterized by misfolding proteins.

"You want to design molecules that will interact and prevent this," said Ishii. "That's been difficult. Now we have a new clue to learn how."

###

Ishii's research work was supported by the Alzheimer's Association and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Chemists Characterize Alzheimer's Plaque Precursor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051122211809.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2005, November 23). Chemists Characterize Alzheimer's Plaque Precursor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051122211809.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Chemists Characterize Alzheimer's Plaque Precursor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051122211809.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. 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