Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Amyloid Inhibitors

  • Andrew J. Doig
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_195-1

Definition

At least 40 diseases are caused by proteins or peptides folding incorrectly and aggregating into amyloid fibrils or plaques, including Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and the spongiform encephalopathies. The best-studied amyloid-based disease is Alzheimer’s, characterized pathologically by abnormally high levels of brain lesions (senile plaques), neurofibrillary tangles in dead and dying neurons, and elevated numbers of amyloid deposits in the walls of cerebral blood vessels. The major component of senile plaques is a small peptide of 39–43 amino acids called β-amyloid (Aβ). In vitro and in vivo evidence shows that soluble, oligomeric forms of Aβ have potent neurotoxic activity and are the primary causes of neuronal injury and cell death, rather than the larger fibrils and plaques that are more readily visualized. An obvious strategy to treat Alzheimer’s, and other amyloidoses, is therefore to interfere with amyloid...

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology Medicine and HealthUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK