Acta Chimica Sinica 2012, 70(17) 1858-1862 DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1005.2008.00225    ISSN: 0567-7351 CN: 31-1320/O6

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Effect of Free Amino Acids on the Abnormal Accumulation of Amyloid-β Peptides
Lian Zhihuia, Wang Haiyanb, Wang Zhongkuia, Han Daxionga
a School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005;
b Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen 361005
Abstract:  A major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the senile plaques in cerebral cortex and hippocampus, mainly composed of the abnormal accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. It was suggested that metal ions (such as copper ions) would be a possible key mediating factor for the formation of amyloid deposits by binding to Aβ peptides and triggering the involved aggregation process. Some previous studies have uncovered that the concentration levels of free amino acids (aa) in the brain of AD patients are different from that of normal controls. So we investigated the interactions between copper ions and Aβ peptides in the presence of free amino acids. The effects of sixteen amino acids on the copper-Aβ complexes were examined by electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Firstly, the mixture solution of Aβ(10-21) peptide (10 mmol/L) and Cu(Gly)2 (40 mmol/L) was incubated for 1 h at 37 ℃ in 10 mmol/L ammonium acetate buffer (pH=6.5). Then stock solution of each amino acid was added yielding Aβ/Cu2+/aa mixture solution at the final concentration of 1∶4∶x (x=0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10) for 200 mL total volume. After 1 h incubation, the samples were analyzed by ESI-MS. Different effects of these amino acids have been observed by comparing the mass spectrum of Aβ/Cu2+/aa mixture solution with the spectrum of Aβ/Cu2+mixture solution. Because of their side chain polarity and stronger coordination ability, Asp, Glu, Leu, Tyr, Thr and His can obviously inhibit the combination between copper ions and Aβ peptide at relative low concentrations, and Gln, Asn, Met, Ser and Cys can also inhibit the combination at moderate concentrations. However, Ala, Phe, Ile, Val and Lys can not inhibit at any concentration, and one of them, Lys, can even accelerate their combination. We infer that these amino acids which can inhibit the binding between Aβ peptides and copper ions may have relationships with the formation of the senile plaques and take into consideration that free amino acids may be a new kind of microenvironment factor related with the abnormal accumulation of Aβ peptides.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease   amino acids   Aβ peptide   copper ions   ESI-MS  
Received  2012-05-06   Revised    Online  2012-07-06  
DOI: 10.6023/A12030026
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