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Protein corona is investigated for use in an Alzheimer's treatme...
  • 글쓴이 : Communications Team
  • 조회 : 318
  • 일 자 : 2021-02-02

Protein corona is investigated for use in an Alzheimer's treatment
Development of a high-efficiency drug screening technology targeting amyloid oligomers

Joint research team with Professor Yoon Dae-sung and Professor Lee Gyu-do published their paper in Nature Communications



연구진 사진

▲ 왼쪽부터 이동택 고려대 바이오의공과 석박사 통합과정(제1저자) , 이정훈 교수(교신저자), 이규도 교수(교신저자), 윤대성 교수(교신저자)



The synthesis of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, believed by some researchers to be the cause of Alzheimer's disease, on the surface of nanoparticles opens the way to quickly discover compounds or bioproteins that degrade amyloid-beta oligomers.

A research team led by Professor Yoon Dae-Sung (Korea University College of Health Science, School of Biomedical Engineering) in collaboration with Professor Lee Gyu-do (Korea University College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics), Professor Lee Jeong-Hoon (Kwangwoon University), and Professor Hwang Kyo-seon (Kyung Hee University) jointly developed a platform that can detect (screen) compounds that selectively degrade only oligomers from among numerous compounds by synthesizing amyloid beta oligomers in the form of a protein corona on the surface of nanoparticles.
* Protein corona: It refers to an aggregate formed by an agglomeration of proteins on the surface of nanoparticles, like the corona of the sun. The protein was named corona because its shape resembles that of the sun’s corona, the aura of which surrounds the sun like a crown.

This achievement is expected to shorten the time it takes to search for compounds from a few days to within a day (e.g. 3-6 hours) and to energize efforts for discovering Alzheimer's treatment candidates. Another advantage is that you only need to use very little (50 times less than the previous version) of the expensive amyloid beta.


Currently, the focus is on amyloid beta oligomers from amyloid beta plaques as a major causative agent of Alzheimer's disease. However, it was difficult to synthesize and purify pure oligomers, and because there was no fluorescent substance capable of labeling oligomers, it was not easy to investigate drug candidates that could target them in large quantities.


The research team succeeded in coating only a pure amyloid beta oligomer in the form of a protein corona on the surface of plasmonic nanoparticles and developing a drug discovery platform. The platform utilizes the principle that when the protein corona is decomposed by a candidate compound, the surface of the nanoparticles is exposed and the nanoparticles aggregate with each other, inducing a change in absorbance and turning the solution red.
* Plasmonic nanoparticles: Metal nanoparticles exhibiting local surface plasmon resonance
* Localized surface plasmonic phenomenon: Optical properties that occur when metal nanoparticles and light react. The phenomenon exhibits unique light absorption characteristics according to the size and structure of the nanoparticles

It is possible to select compounds or bioproteins that selectively decompose oligomers by changing the color of the solution without additional treatment involving fluorescent materials or tracking.

The platform was verified using six low-molecular chemicals known to help relieve Alzheimer's and two bioproteins that remove amyloid beta in vivo.

The results of this research, supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea's Mid-career Researcher Project, Core Technology Development Project, and Fourth Stage BK21 Project, were published on January 27 in the international academic journal, Nature Communications.

* Paper Title: Plasmonic nanoparticle amyloid corona for screening Aβ oligomeric aggregate-degrading drugs
* Journal Title: Nature Communications


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