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Biophys Chem. 2012 Jan;160(1):12-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpc.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Probing the efficacy of peptide-based inhibitors against acid- and zinc-promoted oligomerization of amyloid-β peptide via single-oligomer spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Physics and Geology, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA.


One avenue for prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease involves inhibiting the aggregation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ). Given the deleterious effects reported for Aβ dimers and trimers, it is important to investigate inhibition of the earliest association steps. We have employed quantized photobleaching of dye-labeled Aβ peptides to characterize four peptide-based inhibitors of fibrillogenesis and/or cytotoxicity, assessing their ability to inhibit association in the smallest oligomers (n=2-5). Inhibitors were tested at acidic pH and in the presence of zinc, conditions that may promote oligomerization in vivo. Distributions of peptide species were constructed by examining dozens of surface-tethered monomers and oligomers, one at a time. Results show that all four inhibitors shift the distribution of Aβ species toward monomers; however, efficacies vary for each compound and sample environment. Collectively, these studies highlight promising design strategies for future oligomerization inhibitors, affording insight into oligomer structures and inhibition mechanisms in two physiologically significant environments.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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