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Neurobiol Dis. 2008 May;30(2):212-20. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2008.01.010. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Abeta-globulomers are formed independently of the fibril pathway.

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  • 1Neuroscience Discovery Research, Abbott GmbH & Co. KG, Knollstrasse, D-67061 Ludwigshafen, Germany.


Soluble A beta-oligomers are currently discussed as the major causative species for the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consequently, the beta-amyloid cascade hypothesis was extended by A beta-oligomers and their central neuropathogenic role in AD. However, the molecular structure of A beta-oligomers and their relation to amyloid fibril formation remains elusive. Previously we demonstrated that incubation of A beta(1-42) with SDS or fatty acids induces the formation of a homogeneous globular A beta-oligomer termed A beta-globulomer. In this study we investigated the role of A beta-globulomers in the aggregation pathway of A beta-peptide. We used in vitro assays such as thioflavin-T binding and aggregation inhibitors like Congo red to reveal that A beta-peptide in its A beta-globulomer conformation is a structural entity which is independent from amyloid fibril formation. In addition, cellular Alzheimer's-like plaque forming assays show the resistance of A beta-globulomers to deposition as amyloid plaques. We hypothesize that a conformational switch of A beta is decisive for either fibril formation or alternatively and independently A beta-globulomer formation.

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