Potential amyloid plaque-specific peptides for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

Lionel Larbanoix, Carmen Burtea, Sophie Laurent, Fred Van Leuven, Gérard Toubeau, Luce Vander Elst, Robert N Muller
Neurobiology of Aging 2010, 31 (10): 1679-89
Amyloid plaques (AP) represent one of the main molecular hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In order to develop new AP-specific contrast agents for AD molecular imaging, the phage display technology was used to identify peptides specific to amyloid-beta (A beta(42)). A random disulfide constrained heptapeptide phage display library was screened against A beta(42). After biopanning, 72 phage clones were isolated and their binding affinity to A beta(42) was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The final library was enriched in two peptide sequences. The K(d) of candidate phage clones for binding to A beta(42) are in the picomolar range. The binding affinity for A beta(42) of two selected peptides was confirmed by ELISA, and the specific interaction with AP was validated by immunohistochemistry on brain sections. The preliminary MRI in vivo study, which was performed with a peptide functionalized contrast agent on AD transgenic mouse, showed encouraging results. To conclude, low molecular weight peptides presenting a specific affinity for A beta(42) were identified by phage display. As specific carriers, they have a real potential for molecular imaging of AD thanks to AP binding.

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