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Nature. 1994 Nov 3;372(6501):92-4.

Amyloid-associated proteins alpha 1-antichymotrypsin and apolipoprotein E promote assembly of Alzheimer beta-protein into filaments.

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Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


The protease inhibitor alpha 1-antichymotrypsin and the lipid transport protein apolipoprotein E (apoE) are intimately associated with the 42-amino-acid beta-peptide (A beta) in the filamentous amyloid deposits of Alzheimer's disease. We report here that these two amyloid-associated proteins serve a strong stimulatory role in the polymerization of A beta into amyloid filaments. Addition of either alpha 1-anti-chymotrypsin or apoE to the A beta peptide promoted a 10- to 20-fold increase in filament formation, with apoE-4, the isoform recently linked to the development of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, showing the highest catalytic activity. These and other experiments suggest that Alzheimer amyloid deposits arise when A beta is induced to form filaments by amyloid-promoting factors (pathological chaperones) expressed in certain brain regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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