Newly Identified Small Molecules Break Amyloid Tangles That Cause Alzheimer’s; Molecule Found in Green Tea Helped UCLA Biochemists Discover Several Molecules That Can Destroy Tau Fibers

Scientists at UCLA have used a molecule found in green tea to identify additional molecules that could break up protein tangles in the brain thought to cause Alzheimer’s and similar diseases. The green tea molecule, EGCG, is known to break up tau fibers — long, multilayered filaments that form tangles that attack neurons, causing them to die. In a paper published on September 16, 2022 in Nature Communications, UCLA biochemists describe how EGCG snaps tau fibers layer by layer. They also show how they discovered other molecules likely to work the same way that would make better potential candidates for drugs than EGCG, which can’t easily penetrate the brain. The finding opens up new possibilities for fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and related diseases by developing drugs that target the structure of tau fibers and other amyloid fibrils. The open-access article is titled “Structure-Based Discovery of Small Molecules That Disaggregate Alzheimer’s Disease Tissue Derived Tau Fibrils in Vitro.”

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