Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A region near the C-terminus of human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is weakly homologous with the N-terminus of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid-beta peptide. We report that a 14-amino acid synthetic polypeptide whose sequence corresponds to residues 586-599 of the human synaptic or T form of AChE assembles into amyloid fibrils under physiological conditions. The fibrils have all the classical characteristics of amyloid: they have a diameter of 6-7 nm and bind both Congo red and thioflavin-T. Furthermore, the kinetics of assembly indicate that fibril formation proceeds via a two-step nucleation-dependent polymerization pathway, and a transition in the peptide conformation from random coil to beta-sheet is observed during fibril formation using far-UV circular dichroism spectroscopy. We also show that the peptide in aggregated fibrillar form has a toxic effect upon PC-12 cells in vitro. AChE normally resides mainly on cholinergic neuronal membranes, but is abnormally localized to senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease. Recently, an in vitro interaction between AChE and A beta, the principal constituent of the amyloid fibrils in senile plaques, has been documented. The presence of a fibrillogenic region within AChE may be relevant to the interaction of AChE with amyloid fibrils formed by Abeta.


Journal article



Publication Date





13539 - 13547


Acetylcholinesterase, Alzheimer Disease, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Animals, Biotinylation, Cell Division, Circular Dichroism, Coloring Agents, Congo Red, Fluorescent Dyes, Humans, Microscopy, Electron, Neurofibrillary Tangles, PC12 Cells, Peptide Fragments, Protein Binding, Rats, Thiazoles