Alzheimer’s Proteins Used To Enhance Transfection

Self-assembling nanosheets made of amyloid-forming proteins have been used to enhance retrovirus transduction.

AsianScientist (May 15, 2015) – In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report the discovery of a novel amyloid-like architecture that has the potential to be used as a new class of tunable, biocompatible nanomaterials.

Certain proteins are capable of amyloid assembly, spontaneously forming highly ordered, hierarchical structures. Fundamental biological processes take advantage of amyloid assembly for long-term memory persistence, hormone storage and necroptosis. Unfortunately, amyloid formation is also closely associated with a variety of devastating human diseases including Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s.

In collaboration with scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics and Fudan University, a team led by Professor Liu Cong at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences exploited amyloid behavior to create a protein-based nanosheet, using it to enhance retrovirus transduction.

In this work, Liu and colleagues discovered a previously unreported giant nanosheet structure. The structure is self-assembled by an amyloidogenic peptide of the Aβ protein which forms amyloid aggregates found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

The researchers characterized the structure of the nanosheet by multiple approaches and built an atomic model. Based on the structural model, they designed and utilized the nanosheet as a highly effective enhancer for retrovirus transduction. A series of artificial peptides capable of forming amyloid-like nanosheets were further designed and characterized.

The work showed the potential of amyloid-like nanosheet as a robust platform for integrating different functionalities and provided a general approach for structure-based design of amyloid-like bio-nanomaterials.

The article can be found at: Dai et al. (2015) Tunable Assembly Of Amyloid-forming Peptides Into Nanosheets As A Retrovirus Carrier.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist