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M13 phage grafted with peptide motifs as a tool to detect amyloid-β oligomers in brain tissue

Publication year 2024
Published in Communications Biology
Authors Ivone M Martins, Alexandre Lima, Wim de Graaff, Joana S Cristóvão, Niek Brosens, Eleonora Aronica, Leon D Kluskens, Cláudio M Gomes, Joana Azeredo, Helmut W Kessels

Oligomeric clusters of amyloid-β (Aβ) are one of the major biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, proficient methods to detect Aβ-oligomers in brain tissue are lacking. Here we show that synthetic M13 bacteriophages displaying Aβ-derived peptides on their surface preferentially interact with Aβ-oligomers. When exposed to brain tissue isolated from APP/PS1-transgenic mice, these bacteriophages detect small-sized Aβ-aggregates in hippocampus at an early age, prior to the occurrence of Aβ-plaques. Similarly, the bacteriophages reveal the presence of such small Aβ-aggregates in post-mortem hippocampus tissue of AD-patients. These results advocate bacteriophages displaying Aβ-peptides as a convenient and low-cost tool to identify Aβ-oligomers in post-mortem brain tissue of AD-model mice and AD-patients.

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