Novel Vaccine against Pathological Pyroglutamate-Modified Amyloid Beta for Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

Karen Zagorski, Olga King, Armine Hovakimyan, Irina Petrushina, Tatevik Antonyan, Gor Chailyan, Manush Ghazaryan, Krzysztof L. Hyrc, Jean Paul Chadarevian, Hayk Davtyan, Mathew Blurton-Jones, David H. Cribbs, Michael G. Agadjanyan, Anahit Ghochikyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Post-translationally modified N-terminally truncated amyloid beta peptide with a cyclized form of glutamate at position 3 (pE3Aβ) is a highly pathogenic molecule with increased neurotoxicity and propensity for aggregation. In the brains of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) cases, pE3Aβ represents a major constituent of the amyloid plaque. The data show that pE3Aβ formation is increased at early pre-symptomatic disease stages, while tau phosphorylation and aggregation mostly occur at later stages of the disease. This suggests that pE3Aβ accumulation may be an early event in the disease pathogenesis and can be prophylactically targeted to prevent the onset of AD. The vaccine (AV-1986R/A) was generated by chemically conjugating the pE33-11 fragment to our universal immunogenic vaccine platform MultiTEP, then formulated in AdvaxCpG adjuvant. AV-1986R/A showed high immunogenicity and selectivity, with endpoint titers in the range of 105–106 against pE3Aβ and 103–104 against the full-sized peptide in the 5XFAD AD mouse model. The vaccination showed efficient clearance of the pathology, including non-pyroglutamate-modified plaques, from the mice brains. AV-1986R/A is a novel promising candidate for the immunoprevention of AD. It is the first late preclinical candidate which selectively targets a pathology-specific form of amyloid with minimal immunoreactivity against the full-size peptide. Successful translation into clinic may offer a new avenue for the prevention of AD via vaccination of cognitively unimpaired individuals at risk of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9797
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • post-translational modification
  • prevention
  • pyroglutamate
  • vaccine


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