Table of Contents
Journal of Amino Acids
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 654207, 10 pages
Review Article

Formation of the 42-mer Amyloid 𝜷 Radical and the Therapeutic Role of Superoxide Dismutase in Alzheimer's Disease

1Laboratory of Organic Chemistry in Life Science, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
2Molecular Gerontology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan

Received 29 October 2010; Accepted 16 December 2010

Academic Editor: Gal Bitan

Copyright © 2011 Kazuma Murakami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oxidative stress is closely involved in age-related diseases and ageing itself. There is evidence of the leading contribution of oxidative damage to neurodegenerative disease, in contrast to other diseases where oxidative stress plays a secondary role. The 42-mer amyloid β (Aβ42) peptide is thought to be a culprit in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ42 aggregates form the oligomeric assembly and show neurotoxicity, causing synaptic dysfunction. Aβ42 also induces tissue oxidation (DNA/RNA, proteins, and lipids) through trace metals (Cu, Zn, and Fe), which can be protected by antioxidant enzymes, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Superoxide dismutase catalyzes the conversion of toxic superoxide radical to less reactive hydrogen peroxide, contributing to protection from AD. Here we review the involvement of oxidative stress in AD progression induced from an imbalance between the radical formation of Aβ42 itself together with unique turn structure at positions Glu22 and Asp23 and several defense systems.