A human scFv antibody that targets and neutralizes high molecular weight pathogenic amyloid-β oligomers

Adriano Sebollela*, Erika N. Cline, Izolda Popova, Kevin Luo, Xiaoxia Sun, Jay Ahn, Milena A. Barcelos, Vanessa N. Bezerra, Natalia M. Lyra e Silva, Jason Patel, Nathalia R. Pinheiro, Lei A. Qin, Josette M. Kamel, Anthea Weng, Nadia DiNunno, Adrian M. Bebenek, Pauline T. Velasco, Kirsten L. Viola, Pascale N. Lacor, Sergio T. FerreiraWilliam L. Klein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Brain accumulation of soluble oligomers of the amyloid-β peptide (AβOs) is increasingly considered a key early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A variety of AβO species have been identified, both in vitro and in vivo, ranging from dimers to 24mers and higher order oligomers. However, there is no consensus in the literature regarding which AβO species are most germane to AD pathogenesis. Antibodies capable of specifically recognizing defined subpopulations of AβOs would be a valuable asset in the identification, isolation, and characterization of AD-relevant AβO species. Here, we report the characterization of a human single chain antibody fragment (scFv) denoted NUsc1, one of a number of scFvs we have identified that stringently distinguish AβOs from both monomeric and fibrillar Aβ. NUsc1 readily detected AβOs previously bound to dendrites in cultured hippocampal neurons. In addition, NUsc1 blocked AβO binding and reduced AβO-induced neuronal oxidative stress and tau hyperphosphorylation in cultured neurons. NUsc1 further distinguished brain extracts from AD-transgenic mice from wild type (WT) mice, and detected endogenous AβOs in fixed AD brain tissue and AD brain extracts. Biochemical analyses indicated that NUsc1 targets a subpopulation of AβOs with apparent molecular mass greater than 50 kDa. Results indicate that NUsc1 targets a particular AβO species relevant to AD pathogenesis, and suggest that NUsc1 may constitute an effective tool for AD diagnostics and therapeutics. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-947
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid β oligomers
  • conformational antibodies
  • scFvs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'A human scFv antibody that targets and neutralizes high molecular weight pathogenic amyloid-β oligomers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this