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2010 Grants - Paravastu
NMR Characterization of Prefibrillar Amyloid-Beta Aggregates
Anant Krishna Paravastu, Ph.D.
Florida State University Research Foundation, Inc.
2010 New Investigator Research Grant
The protein fragment beta-amyloid tends to accumulate into clumps called plaques in the demented brain. These plaques are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Yet numerous studies have found that earlier accumulations of beta-amyloid, which contain only a few amyloid molecules, may be the most toxic amyloid forms in Alzheimer's. To better understand these oligomers and their role in disease, scientists have been using sophisticated imaging methods to identify the aggregates' exact structure. One such method is called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Anant Krishna Paravastu, Ph.D., and colleagues have helped develop a method of engineering and stabilizing very early oligomer formations, so that they can be analyzed by NMR imaging. These oligomers contain as little as two to four amyloid molecules. For their proposed grant, the investigators will use NMR techniques to characterize the oligomers' exact structure.
The results of this effort could lay the groundwork for studies that assess how oligomers exert their toxicity in Alzheimer's. They could also point the way to oligomer-based treatments.