Navigation Links
Duke Chemists Isolating Individual Molecules Of Toxic Protein In Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease

To understand the formation of the brain-clogging deposits that cause such disorders as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, Duke University chemists have figured out how to capture and "micromanipulate" the single molecular building blocks of the deposits.

Their aim is to understand the detailed assembly process for the toxic protein called amyloid plaque. Such basic understanding, they said, could lead to approaches to preventing plaque formation.

The researchers led by Boris Akhremitchev are using the infinitesimal tip of a customized atomic force microscope (AFM) to capture, isolate and study single molecules, called monomers, that are the building blocks of the toxic protein polymers known as amyloid fibrils. Atomic force microscopes use a sharp microscopic tip to image surfaces and detect energy differences by mechanically probing molecular surfaces.

In a poster presentation at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting, the researchers will describe the first biophysical analysis of interactions between monomers that form the amyloid fibrils associated with Parkinson's disease.

This presentation will include studies by Chad Ray, a graduate student in Akhremitchev's research group, that clarify the nature of binding forces between amyloid molecules. The poster session will take place March 16, 2005, 7:30 - 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, in Hall D of the San Diego Convention Center.

This work was funded by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation and by Duke University.

It has been difficult to study the chemistry of formation of these fibrils within the brains of humans and other animals, said Akhremitchev, who is an assistant professor of chemistry.

In the brain, "monomers of all kinds are suspended in a soup in equilibrium," he said. Given that the components of amyloid fibrils measure only billionths of a meter and are floating in a disordered mix, "the initial stages of amyloid aggregation are not fully understood," he said.

"When you start a normal reaction, molecules are free in solution so they interact with each other randomly," Akhremitchev said. "If you want to dissect the process, you would rather want to study interactions individually."

Thus, the Duke chemists capture individual monomers at the end of long chained polyethylene glycol molecules. They then attach one such tethered monomer to a microscope slide and the other to the AFM microscope tip. They can then bring the isolated and suspended molecules together to study how and whether they interact.

The Duke researchers study these interactions by retracting the tip of their AFM, which can measure changes in force at the atomic scale. Pulling back the tip can induce a measurable tug on the chemical bonds that hold together the two elevated monomers.

By pulling on such bonds, the Duke scientists can deduce how much energy was required to bring the molecules together. Then, using their knowledge of protein chemistry, they can develop hypotheses about how those particular monomers might, or might not, be involved in the evolution of fibrils, They can thus develop a better understanding of amyloid aggregation.

The scientists are also seeking the precise point during fibril formation when interactions between monomers become irreversible. Defining that point is important because "the fibrils are virtually indestructible once formed," he said.

"How all these monomers interact to form these amyloid fibrils is just not known at this point," said Akhremitchev. "And that is why it is such a great challenge. That's what we want to learn."


'"/>

Source:Duke University


Related biology news :

1. Chemists create Superbowl molecule; May lead to better health
2. Chemists identify key gene in development of type 1 diabetes
3. Chemists identify immune system mechanism for methamphetamine binges
4. Chemists synthesize molecule that helps body battle cancers, malaria
5. Team Invents Device For Weighing Individual Molecules
6. Individual differences in a clock gene predict decline of performance during sleep deprivation
7. Individuals and populations differ in gene activity levels, not just genes
8. DNA Molecules Used To Assemble Nanoparticles
9. Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands
10. Molecules in blood foretell development of preeclampsia
11. Solution to Pollution: New Bacteria Eats Toxic Waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the ... on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The ... coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once again ... of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 Awards ... Las Vegas . Winners are ... of the following categories: net square feet of paid exhibit ... 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of 50 ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Alex,s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), ... it will open a state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ,big ... This announcement comes as Liz Scott , co-executive ... Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C. ... a participant and advocate of pediatric cancer research and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Global demand for ... percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market ... beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and ... diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain ... by increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") ... shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean Technology ... based venture capital funds which together hold approximately 59% ... diluted, as converted basis), that they have entered into ... holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ("TUS") ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... healthier lives through the development of innovative products and ... the United States denied its petition ... claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") ... established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: