Quantitfication of d-aspartate in normal and Alzheimer brains

George H. Fisher, Antimo D'Aniello, Amedeo Vetere, Gregory P. Cusano, Mirtha Chávez, Leonard Petrucelli

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41 Scopus citations


Using a new procedure to hydrolyze proteins without provoking racemization of the amino acids and using enzymatic methods to determine d- and l-aspartate (Asp), we have quantified the content of protein-bound d-aspartate (both d-aspartic acid and d-asparagine) of human brain white and gray matter proteins from normal and Alzheimer subjects. The d-enantiomer is present in brain proteins at mean concentrations between 0.48 and 0.90 μmol/g of wet tissue, corresponding to concentrations 34-82 times lower than that of l-aspartate. The highest levels of d-aspartate were found in Alzheimer gray matter (0.60-0.90, mean 0.69 μmol/g of wet tissue). When expressed as the percentage of total (i.e. d- plus l-) aspartate, %d=[ d (d+l)]×100, the Alzheimer brains show a significantly higher content of d-aspartate in both gray matter (2.08%) and white matter (1.80%) than in the corresponding tissues of normal brains (1.65% in gray, 1.58% in white).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 31 1992


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Human brain
  • d-Aspartate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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