A major component of neuritic plaques in Alzheimer's disease
Amyloid deposits, also called plaques, of Alzheimer's patients consist of several protein components like the a
) 1-40/42 and additional C- and N-terminally truncated and modified fragments. Very abundant are the isoaspartate (isoAsp)-Abeta and p
)-Abeta peptides. The latter are formed by cyclization of the N-terminal glutamate at position 3 or 11 catalyzed by glutaminyl cyclase (QC) resulting in very amyloidogenic and neurotxic variants of Abeta; Abeta-pE3
and Abeta pE11
In contrast to extracellular plaques that do not perfectly correlate with Alzheimer´s disease intraneuronal Abeta accumulation and vascular Abeta deposits have gained more and more evidence to be among the crucial factors responsible for progressive neuron loss.