Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 77, Issue 5, pp 412-418

Alzheimer’s and prion disease as disorders of protein conformation: implications for the design of novel therapeutic approaches

  • C. SotoAffiliated withDepartamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Santiago, Chile e-mail: Tel.: +56-2-6787244, Fax: +56-2-2713891

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 Several lines of evidence suggest that a defective protein folding is a central event in both Alzheimer’s and prion disease. Although the two disorders are very different clinically, neuropathologically, and biochemically, the molecular event that may trigger the disease process appears to be the same: the formation of an altered protein conformer composed of a high content of β-sheet structure. Compounds with the ability to prevent and to reverse protein conformational changes may be useful as novel therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer’s disease, prion disease, and other disorders of defective protein folding.

Key words Alzheimer’s disease Spongiform encephalopathies Protein conformation Therapy β-Sheet breaker peptides