Research Papers:

The antigen-binding fragment of human gamma immunoglobulin prevents amyloid β-peptide folding into β-sheet to form oligomers

Victòria Valls-Comamala, Biuse Guivernau, Jaume Bonet, Marta Puig, Alex Perálvarez-Marín, Ernest Palomer, Xavier Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier Altafaj, Marta Tajes, Albert Puig-Pijoan, Rubén Vicente, Baldomero Oliva and Francisco J. Muñoz _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:41154-41165. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17074

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Victòria Valls-Comamala1, Biuse Guivernau1, Jaume Bonet2, Marta Puig1, Alex Perálvarez-Marín3, Ernest Palomer1, Xavier Fernàndez-Busquets4,5, Xavier Altafaj6, Marta Tajes7, Albert Puig-Pijoan8, Rubén Vicente1, Baldomero Oliva2 and Francisco J. Muñoz1

1Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

2Laboratory of Structural Bioinformatics (GRIB), Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

3Unitat de Biofísica, Departament de Bioquímica i de Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

4Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Barcelona, Spain

5ISGlobal, Barcelona Centre for International Health Research, Hospital Clínic-Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

6Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) - Unit of Neuropharmacology and Pain, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

7Heart Diseases Biomedical Research Group, IMIM-Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain

8Servei de Neurologia, Hospital del Mar-IMIM-Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence to:

Francisco J. Muñoz, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid, immunoglobulin, Fab, oligomers

Received: December 22, 2016     Accepted: March 22, 2017     Published: April 13, 2017


The amyloid beta-peptide (Aβ) plays a leading role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) physiopathology. Even though monomeric forms of Aβ are harmless to cells, Aβ can aggregate into β-sheet oligomers and fibrils, which are both neurotoxic. Therefore, one of the main therapeutic approaches to cure or delay AD onset and progression is targeting Aβ aggregation. In the present study, we show that a pool of human gamma immunoglobulins (IgG) protected cortical neurons from the challenge with Aβ oligomers, as assayed by MTT reduction, caspase-3 activation and cytoskeleton integrity. In addition, we report the inhibitory effect of IgG on Aβ aggregation, as shown by Thioflavin T assay, size exclusion chromatography and atomic force microscopy. Similar results were obtained with Palivizumab, a human anti-sincitial virus antibody. In order to dissect the important domains, we cleaved the pool of human IgG with papain to obtain Fab and Fc fragments. Using these cleaved fragments, we functionally identified Fab as the immunoglobulin fragment inhibiting Aβ aggregation, a result that was further confirmed by an in silico structural model. Interestingly, bioinformatic tools show a highly conserved structure able to bind amyloid in the Fab region. Overall, our data strongly support the inhibitory effect of human IgG on Aβ aggregation and its neuroprotective role.

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PII: 17074