Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amyloid-beta peptide behind Alzheimer's: Hydrogen bonds analyzed for first time

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
Luleå University of Technology
Summary:
Using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, researchers have managed to analyze hydrogen bonds in tiny fibrils of Amyloid-beta peptide , which is considered a probable cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Oleg N. Antzutkin, professor in chemistry of interfaces, at Luleå University of Technology.
Credit: Maria Aberg

Using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, researchers at Luleå University of Technology in collaboration with Warwick University in the UK for the first time in the world managed to analyse hydrogen bonds in tiny fibrils of Amyloid-beta peptide , which probably causes Alzheimer's disease. Thanks to these new results, there is a successful method available -- for analysis of structure of Amyloid-beta peptides in their most toxic form, that is, when they are most dangerous for the brain neurons.

"This is a very important step in research on Alzheimer's disease at a molecular level," says Oleg N. Antzutkin, professor in chemistry of interfaces, at Luleå University of Technology.

Until a few years ago scientists believed that amyloid plaques in the brain directly cause Alzheimer's disease. This is because very large amounts of plaques in the brain of Alzheimer´s patients are usually found. Since the activity of our brain is greatest in the regions responsible for short-term memory, there most of the amyloid plaques were found. Here is also usually where Alzheimer's disease is first noticed, in the form of reduced short-term memory. However, it seems to be that Amyloid plaque are rather a residual of something worse.

Now we know that it is a precursor of amyloid plaques, Amyloid-beta peptide that causes nerve cell death in Alzheimer's patient's brain. When Amyloid-beta, forms small aggregates, oligomers, ie before the peptide clumps together into plaques, it is as most toxic to brain neurons. This has been shown in test tube experiments.

However, the molecular structure of these tiny oligomers of Amyloid-beta peptide, is yet unknown today. Therefore, it is difficult to design antibodies or drugs to hit the right targets and be able to eliminate or block these toxic oligomers, before they cause Alzheimer's disease.

A successful method to solve these molecular structures has not been available, until now: "Now we have a method, which can be employed to identify the specific hydrogen bonds in Amyloid-beta fibrils and therefore to distinguish between different supramolecular structures of Amyloid-beta fibrils. Previous methods have not been able to directly probe these hydrogen bonds. Using our method, it will soon be possible to study hydrogen bonds in key fragments of toxic oligomers that will assist solving their supramolecular structures. What we managed to do now, is an important step towards the full structural characterization of oligomers," says Oleg N. Antzutkin.

Luleå University of Technology has already started a collaboration on the latter topic with professor Torleif Härd´s group at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, with Warwick University and Aarhus University.

By examining hydrogen bonds in Amyloid-beta fibrils and oligomers, with the aid of nuclear magnetic resonance, professor Oleg N. Antzutkin and his research team has developed a method that provides a real opportunity to design a terminator or blocker of Amyloid-beta aggregates, before they become the most toxic for nerve cells and cause Alzheimer's disease.

The drugs available today can not cure the disease, only alleviate the symptoms.

Hydrogen bonds are essential in stabilisation of molecular and supramolecular structures in biological systems. Via REAPDOR solid state NMR spectroscopy professor Oleg N. Antzutkin and his group, has succeeded in measuring distances between the magnetic isotopes 15N and 17O in the amino groups and carbonyl groups, respectively, in Amyloid-beta fibrils. Simply stated, 15N NMR signal from specifically 15N and 17O enriched amino acids is decreasing, when 15N and 17O are in a near spatial vicinity from each other, that indicates a hydrogen bond.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Oleg N. Antzutkin, Dinu Iuga, Andrei V. Filippov, Robert T. Kelly, Johanna Becker-Baldus, Steven P. Brown, Ray Dupree. Hydrogen Bonding in Alzheimer’s Amyloid-β Fibrils Probed by15N{17O} REAPDOR Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2012; 51 (41): 10289 DOI: 10.1002/anie.201203595

Cite This Page:

Luleå University of Technology. "Amyloid-beta peptide behind Alzheimer's: Hydrogen bonds analyzed for first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105081451.htm>.
Luleå University of Technology. (2012, November 5). Amyloid-beta peptide behind Alzheimer's: Hydrogen bonds analyzed for first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105081451.htm
Luleå University of Technology. "Amyloid-beta peptide behind Alzheimer's: Hydrogen bonds analyzed for first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105081451.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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