Methylated Peptides Derived from Tau Protein and Their Antibodies as Diagnostic and Therapeutic Reagents for Alzheimer's Disease
A diagnostic to provide more swift and reliant detection of Alzheimer's disease by monitoring the chemical modification of tau proteins in bodily fluids.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the leading cause of dementia worldwide. While there are some indications of genetic predisposition, the etiology of the disease is primarily unknown, but it does progress with age. Diagnosis of the disease is critical at an early time point and is a high priority for healthcare, due to the aging population. AD is characterized by the presence of neurofibillary tangles, which are microtubule aggregates associated with the protein tau. Immunoassays have been developed recently that detect tau in biological specimens, providing a means for premortem diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. These assays have been improved by the analysis of relevant post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation, however opportunity for improvement remains.
Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey Kuret, have developed detection methods for tau protein methylation in human samples. The approach is capable of capturing both site distribution and stoichiometry of this post-translational modification. The resulting tau methylation signature changes with disease progression and may have utility for detection of Alzheimer's disease-related changes in bodily fluids. In addition to this application, the approach provides a method of generating antibodies and tau peptides that can be used for treatment of Alzheimer's disease in patients.