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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Sep 26;92(20):9368-72.

Expression of human beta-amyloid peptide in transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Denver, CO 80208, USA.


Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes have been engineered to express potentially amyloidic human proteins. These animals contain constructs in which the muscle-specific unc-54 promoter/enhancer of C. elegans drives the expression of the appropriate coding regions derived from human cDNA clones. Animals containing constructs expressing the 42-amino acid beta-amyloid peptide (derived from human amyloid precursor protein cDNA) produce muscle-specific deposits immunoreactive with anti-beta-amyloid polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. A subset of these deposits also bind the amyloid-specific dye thioflavin S, indicating that these deposits have the tinctural characteristics of classic amyloid. Co-expression of beta-peptide and transthyretin, a protein implicated in preventing the formation of insoluble beta-amyloid, leads to a dramatic reduction in the number of dye-reactive deposits. These results suggest that this invertebrate model may be useful for in vivo investigation of factors that modulate amyloid formation.

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