Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a slow degenerative disease that causes memory loss and eventually leads to death. AD is caused by the aggregation of the amyloid-beta protein, found on the outside of brain cells; once the amyloid-beta protein begins to aggregate it forms plaques on the extracellular part of the neural cells. To date there is no AD medication commercially available that breaks up the amyloid-beta aggregates. Current research has found that certain molecules bind to the amyloid-beta protein and prevent aggregation. The purpose of this research project is to engineer a peptoid-based molecule to stop the aggregation of the amyloid-beta protein. Peptoids have been found to form strong helices, have high bioactivity, and are easy and cost-effective to synthesize. Three peptoids with different chemistries at only the 6th side chain have been designed; the first peptoid is neutral, the second peptoid is positive, and the third peptoid is negative. The binding ability of the peptoids with the amyloid-beta protein will be tested at the University of South Carolina in the laboratory of Dr. Melissa Moss. Currently the peptoids have been synthesized and are in the process of purification and characterization. The peptoids binding ability with the amyloid-beta protein will provide important information regarding their use for the therapeutic treatment of AD.
Herrera, Jennifer; Compean, Amanada; Brown, Jasmine; Moss, Melissa; and Servoss, Shannon, "Non-natural protein mimetics for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease" (2011). Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Honors Theses. 57.