Acetylcholinesterase Interaction with Alzheimer Amyloid β

  • Nibaldo C. Inestrosa
  • Juan Paulo Sagal
  • Marcela Colombres
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 38)


Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an enzyme involved in cholinergic and non-cholinergic functions in both the central and peripheral nervous system, most of the AChE is found as a tetrameric form bound to neuronal membranes. Early cytochemical studies have demonstrated that the AChE associated with senile plaques differs enzymatically from the AChE associated with neurons in several respects. Biochemical studies indicated that AChE induces amyloid fibril formation and form highly toxic AChE-Aβ complexes. A 3.5 kDa peptide containing a tryptophan of the enzyme peripheral binding site (PAS) mimics the effect of the whole enzyme on amyloid formation. The neurotoxicity induced by AChE-Aβ complexes indicated that they trigger more neurodegeneration than those of the Aβ peptide alone, both in vitro (hippocampal neurons) and in vivo (rats injected in the dorsal hippocampus as a model of Alzheimer). The fact that AChE is able to accelerate amyloid formation and that such effect is sensitive to drugs that block. PAS of the enzyme, suggests that specific and new AChE inhibitors may well provide an attractive possibility for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Key words

Amyloid β peptide (Aβ) Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Peripheral Anionic Site (PAS) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nibaldo C. Inestrosa
    • 1
  • Juan Paulo Sagal
    • 1
  • Marcela Colombres
    • 1
  1. 1.FONDA-Biomedical CenterP. Catholic University of ChileSantiagoChile

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