RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Formation of amyloid beta protein, computer artwork. Amyloid beta protein is the primary component of amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. It is created by the cleavage of the transmembrane protein amyloid precursor protein (APP, grey and red, centre). The cleavage is carried out by two enzymes. First the enzyme beta secretase (yellow) cleaves the protein to give a soluble fragment (sAPPb) and a membrane-bound fragment (CTFb). Then the enzyme gamma secretase (beige, left) cleaves the membrane-bound fragment to give a beta amyloid peptide (red) and a membrane-bound C-terminal fragment (AICD). Beta amyloid peptides are 'sticky' and accumulate into plaques (top right).
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