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Fluorophores to Detect Misfolded Proteins and Protein Aggregates

ID# 2018-4737
Overview of the AgGlow Method

Technology Summary

Misfolding of proteins leads to formation of pre-fibril protein oligomers, insoluble protein aggregates, and amyloid fibers. This phenomenon has been associated with numerous neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders, including Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. In order to detect and quantify these anomalies, a series of small molecule fluorophores called AgGlow were created. These fluorophores can be used to detect and quantify pre-fibril protein oligomers and insoluble protein aggregates both in vitro and in vivo. These novel fluorophores recognize and bind to misfolded proteins, are cell permeable, and have quantum yields compatible with common molecular biology instrumentation (such as flow cytometers and fluorescent microscopes).

Application & Market Utility

Current products that detect protein aggregates are limited in application and can only be used in vitro or in fixed cells with permeabilized membranes. Currently, there’s no product to detect pre-fibril protein oligomers in live cells. Detection of misfolded proteins in live cells will enable research to determine how pre-fibril protein oligomers, insoluble protein aggregates, and amyloid fibers contribute to disease.

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