Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes: There is hope for inhibitors against amyloid plaque

Designed peptides as potential inhibitors of amyloid plaques.

A new class of designed macrocyclic peptides has been developed which are highly potent inhibitors of amyloid plaque formation. (Picture: Kapurniotu/ TUM)
A new class of designed macrocyclic peptides has been developed which are highly potent inhibitors of amyloid plaque formation. (Picture: Kapurniotu/ TUM)

Powerful therapeutics to neutralize the development of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes are not yet accessible. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now come somewhat closer to the solution: They have depicted another class of composed macrocyclic peptides that are exceedingly intense inhibitors of amyloid formation.

Amyloid plaques, which are protein deposits, assume a pivotal part in the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. A few groups of researchers around the globe are taking a shot at discovering approaches to prevent amyloid plaque development in the human mind.

Powerful therapeutics to neutralize the development of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes are not yet accessible. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now come somewhat closer to the solution: They have depicted another class of composed macrocyclic peptides that are exceedingly intense inhibitors of amyloid formation.

In particular, scientists have developed macrocyclic peptides, a new class of amyloid inhibitors.

Aphrodite Kapurniotu, Professor of Peptide Biochemistry (TUM) said, “We have discovered an MCIP that is stable in human blood plasma and can also overcome the human blood-brain barrier in an in vitro cell culture model. So far we were ‘only’ able to demonstrate these properties in the test tube – thus further research is necessary. But these are two highly desirable properties for inhibitors of Alzheimer’s amyloid.”

“They could be a good alternative to the currently pursued antibody-based approaches as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s amyloid plaque formation because they are easy to produce, have promising properties and, due to their peptidic nature, they will be significantly cheaper than antibodies.”

“Therefore, further investigations are now planned to verify whether the MCIPs are also effective in vivo models. Furthermore, the MCIPs could also be suitable as templates for the development of small molecule peptidomimetics (molecules mimicking peptide chains), which might also find application as anti-amyloid drugs in Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes.”

The study is published in the journal Angew Chem Int Ed Engl.