Gross, Abby Alicea-Ruth. “Evaluation of Amyloid Inhibitors”. MS, Boston College, 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3764.
In the present study, the ability of small compounds to inhibit the fibrillogenesis of beta-amyloid 12-28 was explored. Beta-amyloid 12-28 is a synthetic fragment of Alzheimer's beta-amyloid, which contains the core hydrophobic residues thought to be significant for fiber formation. Using x-ray diffraction, preliminary screening of over sixteen compounds was performed. Cotinine, PTI-00703®, and tetracycline were chosen because of their ease of solubility, the effect on the coherent domain size of the beta-crystallite subunit in the presence of chosen small molecules as shown by x-ray diffraction, as well as their presence in previously published literature. This conformational-driven inhibition of fibrillogenesis was explored in the current research using circular dichroism spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. Circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed the nascent beta-sheet structure of beta-amyloid12-28 when first dissolved and only cotinine, out of all three inhibitors, was able to shift the equilibrium away from the fibrillogenic beta-sheet structure toward a random coil secondary structure after 36 hours of incubation. X-ray diffraction in this study demonstrated no change in hydrogen bond spacing at ~4.7Å and intersheet spacing at ~10-12Å both alone and in the presence of all small molecules. With increasing concentration of inhibitor, however, the widths of these reflections increased, indicating a decrease in the coherent domain size.