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J Biol Chem. 1996 Aug 23;271(34):20631-5.

Morphology and toxicity of Abeta-(1-42) dimer derived from neuritic and vascular amyloid deposits of Alzheimer's disease.

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Haldeman Laboratory for Alzheimer's Disease Research, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona 85372, USA.


In the course of analyzing the chemical composition of Alzheimer's disease neuritic and vascular amyloid, we have purified stable dimeric and trimeric components of Abeta peptides. These peptides (molecular mass 9.0 and 13.5 kDa) were separated by size exclusion chromatography in the presence of 80% formic acid or 5 guanidine thiocyanate, pH 7.4. The average ratio of monomers, dimers, and trimers was 55:30:15, respectively. Similar structures were produced over time upon incubation of synthetic Abeta-(1-42) at pH 7.4. The stability of these oligomeric forms was also demonstrated by Western blot and mass spectrometry. Atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy rotary shadowing revealed that the monomers polymerized into 8-10-nm filaments, whereas the dimers generated prolate ellipsoids measuring 3-4 nm in diameter. The pathogenic effects of the dimeric Abeta-(1-40/42) were tested in cultures of rat hippocampal neuron glia cells. Only in the presence of microglia did the dimer elicit neuronal killing. It is possible that these potentially pathogenic Abeta-(1-40/42) dimers and trimers from Alzheimer's disease amyloid represent the soluble oligomers of Abeta recently described in Alzheimer's disease brains (Kuo, Y.-M., Emmerling, M. R., Vigo-Pelfrey, C., Kasunic, T. C., Kirkpatrick, J. B., Murdoch, G. H., Ball, M. J., and Roher, A. E. (1996) J. Biol. Chem., 271, 4077-4081).

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