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Disease related protein aggregates develop an intrinsic fluorescence signature

last modified Nov 05, 2013 03:33 PM
In recent articles published in the journal Analyst and ChemBioChem we demonstrate that disease related proteins such as amyloid beta and tau, the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, develop an intrinsic fluorescence when they form aggregates, so called protein amyloids.

The process of amyloid formation is intricately linked to the pathology of diseases causing dementia, and the finding is a major breakthrough for such studies.  In the paper by Pinotsi et al, we demonstrate that we can study amyloid aggregation without requirement for traditional labeling protocols which can interfere with aggregation and are thus prone to cause false readings, e.g. when screening for drugs. The work is part of a major research programme in the group to investigate the molecular mechanisms behind neurodegenerative diseases and is funded by the Wellcome Trust Neurodgenerative Disease Initiative and Alzheimer’s Research UK.