“Analysis of Beta Amyloid Peptides by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/MS)”
Mentor:David Schrum, Professor of Chemistry, University of Redlands
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia that affects approximately 22 million people worldwide. This form of dementia is primarily caused by the aggregation of a 1-40 or 1-42 Amino Acid sequence peptide, called the Beta-amyloid peptide. This Beta-Amyloid peptide is cleaved from the much larger trans-membrane Amyloid Precursor Protein. Once aggregated, these peptides form fibrils, or plaques, that ultimately surround a person’s neurons, eventually killing the neuron. If it were possible to find an earlier method of detection, it is possible that an individual could know if they may potentially develop Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear. In order to determine if this was viable, we wanted to analyze solutions prepared with the Beta-Amyloid peptides at typical concentration levels found in various body fluids (blood, cerebral spinal fluid, etc.) using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography/Quadrapole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/QTOF-MS). Before the Beta-Amyloid peptides were analyzed, a set of well characterized peptide standards (Bradykinin, Angiotensin I, and Angiotensin II) were analyzed in order to optimize the various experimental conditions of the instrument. With these optimized parameters we were able to detect Bradykinin as low as 500pg and both Angiotensin I and II as low as 200 pg. Data will also be presented for our initial studies utilizing the Beta-Amyloid Peptides.