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Anti-Alzheimer molecules

Acetylcholinesterase enzyme Acetylcholinesterase enzyme

One of the more promising approaches in the advance of pharmacology and its war against neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, is to design molecules that can inhibit and control enzymatic activity by acting like a key that fits one lock only. The essential first step for progress along these lines is to reveal the detailed three dimensional structures of the molecules involved in the process.


Elettra's contribution
X-ray diffraction techniques have made it possible to obtain detailed information on the structure of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which is active in the transmission of nerve signals and is targeted by Alzheimer's disease, and its interaction with one of the pharmaceuticals that can control the activity of the AChE enzyme.
Work performed at Elettra has led to progress in the design of new compounds with excellent therapeutic properties and currently undergoing clinical trials. The work has been carried out in partnership with an important Austrian pharmaceutical company.


Facility: Beamline XRD1

Three-dimensional Structure of a Complex of Galanthamine with Acetylcholinesterase From Torpedo californica: Implications for the Design of New Anti-Alzheimer Drugs; C. Bartolucci, E. Perola, C. Pilger, G. Fels, D. Lamba; Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics 42; p. 182; 2001.