Use of amyloid inhibitors cautioned

Brian Shoichet, PhD, School of Pharmacy faculty member and Brian Feng, PhD, former staff research associate with the School, and colleagues have discovered that many amyloid inhibitors, which scientists had hoped would keep "sticky" amyloid protein fibers such as those associated with Alzheimer's disease from aggregating in brain tissue, actually clump together themselves. This would make these amyloid inhibitors useless as targeted therapies against amyloid in the brain. In addition, in their clumped form, they inhibit most other proteins with which they come in contact. Their work appears in the January 27, 2008 issue of Nature Chemical Biology under the title "Small-molecule aggregates inhibit amyloid polymerization."

"A cautionary conclusion to emerge from these studies," write the authors, "is that chemical aggregators may be common among inhibitors of amyloid fibrillization."

Full story

Small molecule aggregates inhibit amyloid polymerization

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.