Researchers Reveal New Way to Accelerate, Study Alzheimer’s Protein

Researchers Reveal New Way to Accelerate, Study Alzheimer’s Protein
Researchers at Osaka University, Japan, have found a new way to speed up the accumulation of amyloid-beta protien in a laboratory setting to better study the aggregation mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease. Because amyloid-beta aggregation characteristics are thought to be a marker of disease, researchers suggest the new method might be applied to future diagnostic tests. The study of aggregation mechanics of amyloid-beta is crucial to developing drugs intended to target the aggregates. But observing the build-up of protein aggregates in the lab is a slow process. Researchers have long been on the lookout for methods that might accelerate the process. Earlier studies have shown that ultrasonic irradiation increases the aggregation rate of various proteins in solution, but it has not been clear how that happens. The study Nucleus factory on cavitation bubble for amyloid β fibril,” explored this method on solutions of amyloid-beta monomers and found that the increased aggregation is brought on by cavitation bubbles — formations of gas bubbles inside a liquid, repeatedly forming and collapsing when a protein solution is irradiated with an ultrasonic wave. The complex science behind the discovery, published in the journal Scientific Reports, can be explained in simple terms. Scientists force the formation of such bubbles in a liquid holding amyloid-beta monomers, which stick to the surface of the growing bubbles, linked by surface factors attracting parts of the amyloid molecule that do not mix well with water. When
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