Researchers identify role of phenylalanine in the formation of amyloid fibrils
Tuesday 19 June 2012
Scientists at Tel Aviv University have discovered that phenylalanine, an amino acid, can form amyloid fibrils which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and also play a part in Parkinson's disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Researcher Ehud Gazit at Tel Aviv University highlighted “This is the first time that it has been demonstrated that an amino acid, rather than a peptide or a protein, can form such a structure.” The researchers hope that their discovery leads to a better understanding of the behaviour of amino acids. In addition, this work could lead to new treatments for the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU), which is caused by high levels of phenylalanine.