Amyloid β structural polymorphism, associated toxicity and therapeutic strategies

Ofek Oren, Ran Taube, Niv Papo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A review of the multidisciplinary scientific literature reveals a large variety of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomeric species, differing in molecular weight, conformation and morphology. These species, which may assemble via either on‐ or off-aggregation pathways, exhibit differences in stability, function and neurotoxicity, according to different experimental settings. The conformations of the different Aβ species are stabilized by intra- and inter-molecular hydrogen bonds and by electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions, all depending on the chemical and physical environment (e.g., solvent, ions, pH) and interactions with other molecules, such as lipids and proteins. This complexity and the lack of a complete understanding of the relationship between the different Aβ species and their toxicity is currently dictating the nature of the inhibitor (or inducer)-based approaches that are under development for interfering with (or inducing) the formation of specific species and Aβ oligomerization, and for interfering with the associated downstream neurotoxic effects. Here, we review the principles that underlie the involvement of different Aβ oligomeric species in neurodegeneration, both in vitro and in preclinical studies. In addition, we provide an overview of the existing inhibitors (or inducers) of Aβ oligomerization that serve as potential therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. The review, which covers the exciting studies that have been published in the past few years, comprises three main parts: 1) on- and off‐fibrillar assembly mechanisms and Aβ structural polymorphism; 2) interactions of Aβ with other molecules and cell components that dictate the Aβ aggregation pathway; and 3) targeting the on‐fibrillar Aβ assembly pathway as a therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7185-7198
Number of pages14
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloids
  • Aβ42 peptide
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Peptide–lipid interactions
  • Protein aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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