Department of Chemistry

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

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Warren J. Goux , Ph.D.

NMR probes of biomolecules

Research Group

Goux Lab


B.A., University of Southern California (1971): Psychology
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara (1977): Chemistry


Nanotech Institute

Research Description

Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) are one of the two hallmark lesions of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their accumulation has been used to assess the severity of the disease. They are composed of paired helical filaments (PHF), a form of amyloid resulting from the aggregation of the microtubule-associated protein tau. Our laboratory has found that peptides as short as 3-6 amino acids are able to initiate the formation of twisted filaments, similar to PHF. We believe that these short amyloid-forming peptides provide an excellent model for studying the structural basis of PHF and amyloid, in general. By understanding the structural basis for amyloid formation, a rational design of therapeutic agents able to prevent PHF accumulation can be undertaken. In addition to using short tau-related peptides to understand the basis of amyloid formation, they may be used as targeting agents for amyloid. For example, we have recently shown that contrast agents prepared from these peptides and a gadolinium chelate bind strongly to senile plaque and NFTs and may act as MRI probes for the diagnosis of AD.

Selected Publications

Chow, J.T.-N.; Williamson, D.A.; Yates, K.M.; Goux, W.J. “Chemical characterization of the Immunomodulating polysaccharide of Aloe vera L.”, Carbohydrate Research (2005) 340: 1131–1142.

Goux, W.J.; Kopplin, L.; Nguyen, A.D.; Leak, K.; Rutkofsky, M.; Shanmuganandam, V.D.; Sharma, D.; Inouye, H.; Kirschner, D.A. “The Formation of Straight and Twisted Filaments from Short Tau Peptides”, J. Biol. Chem. (2004) 279: 26868 – 26875.

Zhang, X.Y.; Goux, W.J.; Manohar, S.K. “ Synthesis of polyaniline nanofibers by "nanofiber seeding", J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2004) 126: 4502-4503.

  • Updated: November 28, 2006
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