One of our main research goals is detection and structure determination of active peptide aggregates causing Alzheimer, Parkinson, Huntington and similar diseases.
We are trying to detect these active but unstable aggregates by diffusion NMR measurement and also by trapping them on nanoparticle surfaces.
Peptides of desired sequence are synthesized using an automated Applied Biosystems 433A peptide synthesizer.
Synthesis starts with the C-terminal amino acid, which is attached to the solid (insoluble) resin support. Amino acids are then added one by one unitl the N-terminus is reached. Similar steps are repeated each time an amino acid is added. At the end of the synthesis, the peptide formed is cleaved from the resin support by the treatment with 95% TFA, followed by lyophilization to get dry peptide.
The product thus obtained is then purified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The purity of the peptide is determined by mass spectrometry.
The peptide synthesizer instrument combines the protecting chemistry (BOC / Fmoc) with the activation (DCC / HOBt / HBTU) to perform solid-phase peptide synthesis.