Amyloid beta


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Amyloid beta (Aβ or Abeta) denotes peptides of 36–43 amino acids that are the main component of the amyloid plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The peptides derive from the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is cleaved by beta secretase and gamma secretase to yield Aβ in a cholesterol dependent process and substrate presentation. Aβ molecules can aggregate to form flexible soluble oligomers which may exist in several forms. It is now believed that certain misfolded oligomers (known as “seeds”) can induce other Aβ molecules to also take the misfolded oligomeric form, leading to a chain reaction akin to a prion infection. The oligomers are toxic to nerve cells. The other protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, tau protein, also forms such prion-like misfold