Antibody-based Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and Frontotemporal Dementia

Document
Description

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) are the leading causes of early onset dementia. There are currently no ways to slow down progression, to prevent or cure AD and

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) are the leading causes of early onset dementia. There are currently no ways to slow down progression, to prevent or cure AD and FTD. Both AD and FTD share a lot of the symptoms and pathology. Initial symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, mood swings and behavioral changes are common in both these dementia subtypes. Neurofibrillary tau tangles and intraneuronal aggregates of TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) are also observed in both AD and FTD. Hence, FTD cases are often misdiagnosed as AD due to a lack of accurate diagnostics. Prior to the formation of tau tangles and TDP-43 aggregates, tau and TDP-43 exist as intermediate protein variants which correlate with cognitive decline and progression of these neurodegenerative diseases. Effective diagnostic and therapeutic agents would selectively recognize these toxic, disease-specific variants. Antibodies or antibody fragments such as single chain antibody variable domain fragments (scFvs), with their diverse binding capabilities, can aid in developing reagents that can selectively bind these protein variants. A combination of phage display library and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)-based panning was employed to identify antibody fragments against immunoprecipitated tau and immunoprecipitated TDP-43 from human postmortem AD and FTD brain tissue respectively. Five anti-TDP scFvs and five anti-tau scFvs were selected for characterization by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) and Immunohistochemistry (IHC). The panel of scFvs, together, were able to identify distinct protein variants present in AD but not in FTD, and vice versa. Generating protein variant profiles for individuals, using the panel of scFvs, aids in developing targeted diagnostic and therapeutic plans, gearing towards personalized medicine.