"Molecular tweezer" are a chemical compound in a shape resembling a horseshoe.

A clawlike molecule that can unravel amyloids, the aberrant protein snarls behind diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, may serve as the basis for a new strategy to treat a broad range of protein-misfolding diseases (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja206279b).

Previous research on amyloids suggests the amino acid lysine in proteins acts as an amyloid glue. When Gal Bitan of UCLA read about a molecule called CLR01 that specifically binds lysine, he formed a hypothesis—disrupting lysine’s interactions would unglue amyloids—and immediately wanted to test it using CLR01.

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