Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 30;279(18):18169-77. Epub 2004 Feb 20.

Copper binding to the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease: folding, coordination geometry, pH dependence, stoichiometry, and affinity of Abeta-(1-28): insights from a range of complementary spectroscopic techniques.

Author information

School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, United Kingdom.


There is now direct evidence that copper is bound to amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) in senile plaque of Alzheimer's disease. Copper is also linked with the neurotoxicity of Abeta and free radical damage, and Cu(2+) chelators represent a possible therapy for Alzheimer's disease. We have therefore used a range of complementary spectroscopies to characterize the coordination of Cu(2+) to Abeta in solution. The mode of copper binding is highly pH-dependent. EPR spectroscopy indicates that both coppers have axial, Type II coordination geometry, square-planar or square-pyramidal, with nitrogen and oxygen ligands. Circular dichroism studies indicate that copper chelation causes a structural transition of Abeta. Competition studies with glycine and l-histidine indicate that copper binds to Abeta-(1-28) at pH 7.4 with an affinity of K(a) approximately 10(7) m(-1). (1)H NMR indicates that histidine residues are involved in Cu(2+) coordination but that Tyr(10) is not. Studies using analogues of Abeta-(1-28) in which each of the histidine residues have been replaced by alanine or in which the N terminus is acetylated suggest that the N terminus and His(13) are crucial for Cu(2+) binding and that His(6) and His(14) are also implicated. Evidence for the link between Alzheimer's disease and Cu(2+) is growing, and our studies have made a significant contribution to understanding the mode of Cu(2+) binding to Abeta in solution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center