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Amyloid beta (Aβ or Abeta) is a protein fragment of 39-42 amino acids that is the main constituent of amyloid plaques in various neurological disorders, most prominently Alzheimer's disease.
Aβ is formed after sequential cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the β- and γ-secretases. APP is a transmembrane glycoprotein. Disregulation of APP metabolism — increasing either total Aβ levels or the relative concentration of the 42-amino acid form — seems to cause hereditary, early-onset Alzheimer's and is thought by many researchers to be involved in the etiology of the late-onset form.
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