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Lopez Del Amo J.M.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Lopez Del Amo J.M.,TU Munich | Lopez Del Amo J.M.,Leibnizinstitut For Molekulare Pharmakologie | Fink U.,Leibnizinstitut For Molekulare Pharmakologie | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

The green tea compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibits Alzheimer's disease β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) neurotoxicity. Solution-state NMR allows probing initial EGCG-Aβ interactions. We show that EGCG-induced Aβ oligomers adopt a well-defined structure and are amenable for magic angle spinning solid-state NMR investigations. We find that EGCG interferes with the aromatic hydrophobic core of Aβ. The C-terminal part of the Aβ peptide (residues 22-39) adopts a β-sheet conformation, whereas the N-terminus (residues 1-20) is unstructured. The characteristic salt bridge involving residues D23 and K28 is present in the structure of these oligomeric Aβ aggregates as well. The structural analysis of small-molecule-induced amyloid aggregates will open new perspectives for Alzheimer's disease drug development. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Maul B.,Leibnizinstitut For Molekulare Pharmakologie | Becker M.,Leibnizinstitut For Molekulare Pharmakologie | Gembardt F.,Excellence Cluster Cardio Pulmonary System | Gembardt F.,University Hospital Dresden | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Both acquired and inherited genetic factors contribute to excessive alcohol consumption and the corresponding development of addiction. Here we show that the genetic deficiency in neprilysin [NEP] did not change the kinetics of alcohol degradation but led to an increase in alcohol intake in mice in a 2-bottle-free-choice paradigm after one single stress stimulus (intruder). A repetition of such stress led to an irreversible elevated alcohol consumption. This phenomenon could be also observed in wild-type mice receiving an orally active NEP inhibitor. We therefore elucidated the stress behavior in NEP-deficient mice. In an Elevated Plus Maze, NEP knockouts crossed more often the area between the arms, implicating a significant stronger stress response. Furthermore, such animals showed a decreased locomotor activity under intense light in a locomotor activity test, identifying such mice to be more responsive in aversive situations than their wild-type controls. Since the reduction in NEP activity itself does not lead to significant signs of an altered alcohol preference in mice but requires an environmental stimulus, our findings build a bridge between stress components and genetic factors in the development of alcoholism. Therefore, targeting NEP activity might be a very attractive approach for the treatment of alcohol abuse in a society with increasing social and financial stress. © 2012 Maul et al.

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