According to the amyloid hypothesis, Aβ peptides are neurotoxic and underlie development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Multiple Aβ clearance mechanisms, including destruction of the peptides by proteolytic enzymes, are hypothesized to regulate physiological Aβ peptide levels. The insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) is considered one of the predominant enzymes having Aβ degrading activity. Despite its putative role in protecting against AD, relatively few methods exist for studying IDE activity in vitro. We report the application of capillary electrophoresis (CE) as a novel method for evaluating IDE-mediated Aβ 1–40 proteolysis. This method employs chemically unmodified substrates that are readily obtained from commercial sources. It involves minimal sample preparation, and requires no specialized equipment beyond a CE instrument equipped with a standard fused silica capillary. In the present analysis, we demonstrate that this CE-based method is amenable to kinetic analysis, and show that IDE-mediated Aβ proteolysis is significantly and disproportionately inhibited in the presence of insulin, an alternative IDE substrate.
Alper, Benjamin J. and Walter K. Schmidt. "A Capillary Electrophoresis Method for Evaluation of Abeta Proteolysis in Vitro." Journal of Neuroscience Methods 178.1 (2009): 40-45.