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J Biol Chem. 1996 Dec 27;271(52):33623-31.

The "nonamyloidogenic" p3 fragment (amyloid beta17-42) is a major constituent of Down's syndrome cerebellar preamyloid.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Down's syndrome (DS) patients show accelerated Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology, which consists of preamyloid lesions followed by the development of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The major constituents of preamyloid and neuritic plaques are amyloid beta (Abeta) peptides. Preamyloid lesions are defined as being Abeta immunoreactive lesions, which unlike neuritic plaque amyloid are Congo red-negative and largely nonfibrillar ultrastructurally. DS patients can develop extensive preamyloid deposits in the cerebellum, without neuritic plaques; hence, DS cerebellums are a source of relatively pure preamyloid. We biochemically characterized the composition of DS preamyloid and compared it to amyloid in the neuritic plaques and leptomeninges in the same patients. We found that Abeta17-42 or p3 is a major Abeta peptide of DS cerebellar preamyloid. This 26-residue peptide is also present in low quantities in neuritic plaques. We suggest that preamyloid can now be defined biochemically as lesions in which a major Abeta peptide is p3.

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