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J Biol Chem. 2004 Aug 27;279(35):37061-8. Epub 2004 Jun 25.

Proteomic characterization of postmortem amyloid plaques isolated by laser capture microdissection.

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Department of Human Genetics, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, Enory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The presence of amyloid plaques in the brain is one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We report here a comprehensive proteomic analysis of senile plaques from postmortem AD brain tissues. Senile plaques labeled with thioflavin-S were procured by laser capture microdissection, and their protein components were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. We identified a total of 488 proteins co-isolated with the plaques, and we found multiple phosphorylation sites on the neurofilament intermediate chain, implicating the complexity and diversity of cellular processes involved in the plaque formation. More significantly, we identified 26 proteins enriched in the plaques of two AD cases by quantitative comparison with surrounding non-plaque tissues. The localization of several proteins in the plaques was further confirmed by the approach of immunohistochemistry. In addition to previously identified plaque constituents, we discovered novel association of dynein heavy chain with the plaques in human postmortem brain and in a double transgenic AD mouse model, suggesting that neuronal transport may play a role in neuritic degeneration. Overall, our results revealed for the first time the sub-proteome of amyloid plaques that is important for further studies on disease biomarker identification and molecular mechanisms of AD pathogenesis.

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