Beta-Amyloid Peptide/a2-Macroglobulin Interactions
Steven Gonias, MD, PhD University of Virginia
It has been suggested that the protein a2-macroglobulin (a2M) could be an inhibitor of beta-amyloid (Ab) aggregation. The goal of this study is to elucidate the nature of the interaction between a2M and the Ab peptide. Dr. Gonias will accomplish this by first identifying the site in a2M which binds to Ab. Because a2M also has important interactions with various growth factors and cytokines that have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Gonias will also attempt to determine if a2M-Ab interaction alters a2M binding to cytokines. One possible outcome of these studies is the identification of novel peptides that have the ability to alter Ab fibril formation -- an activity with potential therapeutic value for Alzheimer's disease.