Development of a Small D-Enantiomeric Alzheimer's Amyloid-beta Binding Peptide Ligand for Future In Vivo Imaging Applications
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating disease affecting predominantly the aging population. One of the characteristic pathological hallmarks of AD are neuritic plaques, consisting of amyloid-beta peptide (A beta). While there has been some advancement in diagnostic classification of AD patients according to their clinical severity, no fully reliable method for pre-symptomatic diagnosis of AD is available. To enable such early diagnosis, which will allow the initiation of treatments early in the disease progress, neuroimaging tools are under development, making use of A beta-binding ligands that can visualize amyloid plaques in the living brain. Here we investigate the properties of a newly designed series of D-enantiomeric peptides which are derivatives of ACI-80, formerly called D1, which was developed to specifically bind aggregated A beta 1-42. We describe ACI-80 derivatives with increased stability and A beta binding properties, which were characterized using surface plasmon resonance and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The specific interactions of the lead compounds with amyloid plaques were validated by ex vivo immunochemistry in transgenic mouse models of AD. The novel compounds showed increased binding affinity and are promising candidates for further development into in vivo imaging compounds.