New Discovery may Lead to New Drug Treatments for Diabetes
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a discovery that has the potential for use in the early diagnosis and eventual treatment of plaque-related diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“The amyloid diseases are characterized by plaque that aggregate into toxic agents that interact with cellular machinery, explained Michael T. Bowers, lead author and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.”
The Model Systems
"The systems we use are model systems, but the results are groundbreaking," said Bowers. He explained that his research provides the first examples of the conversion of randomly assembled aggregates of small peptides into ordered beta sheets that comprise fibrils. Fibrils are the final structural state of the aggregation process.” The models are essential to understanding and being able to develop diagnostic and treatment of these amyloid diseases.
This method enabled the team to deduce the peptide self-assembly method. They then examined a series of amyloid-forming peptides clipped from larger peptides or proteins associated with disease.