Shedding Light on the Structure of Alzheimer’s Toxic Protein
Professor Charles G. Glabe, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, conducts research on the structure and aggregation of amyloids in degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. In a recent study, spearheaded by his colleague Dr. Roland Riek, Professor Glabe assisted in discovering the three dimensional structure of the protein fragment amyloid-ß (Aß). The Aß fragment is abundant in the Alzheimer’s brain and is believed to play a central role in the progression of the disease. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electromagnetic scanning, Professor Glabe and his colleagues solved the structure of a toxic form of the Aß fragment known to kill neurons in culture. The identification of the structure of this toxic form of Aß will greatly contribute to the pursuit of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.
Marielle Wälti, Francesco Ravotti, Hiromi Arai, Joseph Wall, Anja Böckmann, Peter Güntert and Beat Meier also contributed to the study.