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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 9, 1996; 93(1): 452–455.

Monoclonal antibodies inhibit in vitro fibrillar aggregation of the Alzheimer beta-amyloid peptide.


The beta-amyloid peptide, the hallmark of Alzheimer disease, forms fibrillar toxic aggregates in brain tissue that can be dissolved only by strong denaturing agents. To study beta-amyloid formation and its inhibition, we prepared immune complexes with two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), AMY-33 and 6F/3D, raised against beta-amyloid fragments spanning amino acid residues 1-28 and 8-17 of the beta-amyloid peptide chain, respectively. In vitro aggregation of beta-amyloid peptide was induced by incubation for 3 h at 37 degrees C and monitored by ELISA, negative staining electron microscopy, and fluorimetric studies. We found that the mAs prevent the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptide and that the inhibitory effect appears to be related to the localization of the antibody-binding sites and the nature of the aggregating agents. Preparation of mAbs against "aggregating epitopes," defined as sequences related to the sites where protein aggregation is initiated, may lead to the understanding and prevention of protein aggregation. The results of this study may provide a foundation for using mAbs in vivo to prevent the beta-amyloid peptide aggregation that is associated with Alzheimer disease.

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