Modulation of aggregate size- and shape-distributions of the amyloid-β peptide by a designed β-sheet breaker

Luitgard Nagel-Steger, Borries Demeler, Wolfgang Meyer-Zaika, Katrin Hochdörffer, Thomas Schrader, Dieter Willbold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A peptide with 42 amino acid residues (Aβ42) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of the Alzheimer's disease. It is highly prone to self aggregation leading to the formation of fibrils which are deposited in amyloid plaques in the brain of diseased individuals. In our study we established a method to analyze the aggregation behavior of the Aβ peptide with a combination of sedimentation velocity centrifugation and enhanced data evaluation software as implemented in the software package UltraScan. Important information which becomes accessible by this methodology is the s-value distribution and concomitantly also the shape-distribution of the Aβ peptide aggregates generated by self-association. With this method we characterized the aggregation modifying effect of a designed bsheet breaker molecule. This compound is built from three head-to-tail connected aminopyrazole moieties and represents a derivative of the already described Tripyrazole. By addition of this compound to a solution of the Aβ42 peptide the maximum of the s-value distribution was clearly shifted to smaller s-values as compared to solutions where only the vehicle DMSO was added. This shift to smaller s-values was stable for at least 7 days. The information about size- and shape-distributions present in aggregated Aβ42 solutions was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and by measurement of amyloid formation by thioflavin T fluorescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Aggregation inhibitor
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid β
  • Peptide
  • Sedimentation velocity centrifugation
  • Thioflavin T
  • Transmission electron microscopy


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