Morphology and toxicity of Aβ-(1-42) dimer derived from neuritic and vascular amyloid deposits of Alzheimer's disease

Alex E. Roher, Michael O. Chaney, Yu Min Kuo, Scott D. Webster, W. Blaine Stine, Lanny J. Haverkamp, Amina S. Woods, Robert J. Cotter, James M. Tuohy, Grant A. Krafft, Barry S. Bonnell, Mark R. Emmerling

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444 Scopus citations


In the course of analyzing the chemical composition of Alzheimer's disease neuritic and vascular amyloid, we have purified stable dimeric and trimeric components of Aβ peptides. These peptides (molecular mass 9.0 and 13.5 kDa) were separated by size exclusion chromatography in the presence of 80% formic acid or 5 M guanidine thiocyanate, pH 7.4. The average ratio of monomers, dimers, and trimers was 55:30:15, respectively. Similar structures were produced over time upon incubation of synthetic Aβ-(1-42) at pH 7.4. The stability of these oligomeric forms was also demonstrated by Western blot and mass spectrometry. Atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy rotary shadowing revealed that the monomers polymerized into 8-10-nm filaments, whereas the dimers generated prolate ellipsoids measuring 3-4 nm in diameter. The pathogenic effects of the dimeric Aβ-(1-40/42) were tested in cultures of rat hippocampal neuron glia cells. Only in the presence of microglia did the dimer elicit neuronal killing. It is possible that these potentially pathogenic Aβ(1-40/42) dimers and trimers from Alzheimer's disease amyloid represent the soluble oligomers of Aβ recently described in Alzheimer's disease brains (Kuo, Y.-M., Emmerling, M. R., Vigo-Pelfrey, C., Kasunic, T. C., Kirkpatrick, J. B., Murdoch, G. H., Ball, M. J., and Roher, A. E. (1996) J. Biol. Chem., 271, 4077-4081).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20631-20635
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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