“Analysis of Beta Amyloid Peptides by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/MS)”
Mentor:David Schrum, Professor of Chemistry, The University of Redlands
Alzheimer 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). Analysis of the beta-amyloid peptide with our instrumentation has yielded a detection limit of 25 ng. Further analysis of the beta-amyloid peptide is needed in order to obtain a lower detection limit for use as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease.