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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Jul 26;1502(1):76-84.

Approaches to discovery and characterization of inhibitors of amyloid beta-peptide polymerization.

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  • 1Praecis Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Cambridge, MA 02139-1572, USA.


Polymerization of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) has been identified as a major feature of the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Inhibition of the formation of these toxic polymers of Abeta has thus emerged as an approach to developing therapeutics for AD. Techniques for studying Abeta polymerization include the use of fibril nucleation and extension assays in a variety of formats. Detection of polymeric forms of Abeta has been achieved using turbidity, dye binding, light scattering and toxicity among other methods. Direct and indirect methods have been described for the measurement of binding affinities for Abeta fibrils. Imaging techniques include electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. These techniques have been used to characterize different classes of compounds that inhibit the formation of Abeta polymers. These compounds include dyes such as Congo Red, the antibiotic rifampicin, the anthracycline 4'-iodo-4'-deoxydoxorubicin, and a large variety of Abeta-derived peptides and modified peptides, among other reported inhibitors.

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