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Biochemistry. 2002 Jan 22;41(3):922-8.

APP transgenic mice Tg2576 accumulate Abeta peptides that are distinct from the chemically modified and insoluble peptides deposited in Alzheimer's disease senile plaques.

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The Longtine Center for Molecular Biology and Genetics, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona 85351, USA.


The amyloid (Abeta) peptides generated in Hsiao's APP Tg2576 transgenic (Tg) mice are physically and chemically distinct from those characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Transgenic mouse Abeta peptides were purified using sequential size-exclusion and reverse-phase chromatographic systems and subjected to amino acid sequencing and mass spectrometry analyses. The mouse Abeta peptides lacked the extensive N-terminal degradations, posttranslational modifications, and cross-linkages abundant in the stable Abeta peptide deposits observed in AD. Truncated Abeta molecules appear to be generated in vivo by hydrolysis at multiple sites rather than by post-mortem C-terminal degradation. In contrast to AD amyloid cores, the Tg mice peptides were soluble in Tris-SDS-EDTA solutions, revealing both monomeric and SDS-stable oligomeric species of Abeta. In contrast to our report on Novartis Pharma APP23 Tg mice [Kuo et al. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 12991], which maintain high levels of soluble Abeta early on with later development of extensive vascular amyloid, Tg2576 mice exhibited an age-related elevation of soluble Abeta with relatively limited vascular amyloid deposition. The transgenic mouse levels of carboxy-terminal (CT) APP fragments were nearly 10-fold greater than those of human brains, and this condition may contribute to the unique pathology observed in these animals. Immunization of transgenic mice may act to prevent the pathological effects of betaAPP overproduction by binding CT molecules or halting their processing to toxic forms, in addition to having any effects on Abeta itself. Thus, differences in disease evolution and biochemistry must be considered when using transgenic animals to evaluate drugs or therapeutic interventions intended to reduce the Abeta burden in Alzheimer's disease.

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