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Products to cut fibril formation in Alzheimer's

Abnormal arrangements of protein fibrils – fine fibres – are known as amyloid structures. Unlike other fibrous proteins, these cease to have a useful role and are associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes.
Products to cut fibril formation in Alzheimer's
Recent research has pointed to (-)-epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), incidentally an ingredient of green tea, as a possible drug candidate for inhibition of fibril formation or even promoting disassembly.

Assessing suitability of EGCG for drug therapy requires extensive testing. An EU-funded initiative has therefore studied EGCG-insulin amyloid interactions. The EGCG+INSULIN= (Towards construction of a comprehensive map of amyloid-ligand interactions: (-)-Epigallocatechin 3-gallate and insulin amyloid) project set up and helped to fund the Group of Amyloid Research at the Department of Biothermodynamics and Drug Design at the Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius, Lithuania.

EGCG+INSULIN= research is a completely new theme for the Institute, with comprehensive biophysical studies of amyloid-like fibril formation and testing of potential anti-amyloidogenic compounds.

Research in particular focused on elongation of the insulin amyloid-like fibril and its interaction with EGCG. Data showed that the process may have similar properties to an enzyme reaction and can be described by Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Interestingly and contrary to all published research on this subject, EGCG did not inhibit amyloid fibril formation.

The project team then expanded their search to investigate other amyloidogenic proteins and potential small molecule inhibitors. Some 265 compounds were tested as inhibitors of insulin, amyloid beta (Abeta), alpha-synuclein and mouse prion protein (MoPrP) amyloid-like fibril formation. Five were identified as outstanding inhibitors of insulin fibril formation; four of them inhibited fibrillation of alpha-synuclein and one slowed down aggregation of MoPrP.

Research into EGCG-insulin amyloid interactions has provided a valuable knowledge platform to further study how EGCG impacts the development of type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

Related information


Fibril formation, Alzheimer's, amyloid, type 2 diabetes, EGCG
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