Genetic and biochemical studies suggest that Alzheimer's disease (AD) is caused by a series of events initiated by the production and subsequent aggregation of the Alzheimer's amyloid beta peptide (Abeta), the so-called amyloid cascade hypothesis. Thus, a logical approach to treating AD is the development of small molecule inhibitors that either block the proteases that generate Abeta from its precursor (beta- and gamma-secretases) or interrupt and/or reverse Abeta aggregation. To identify potent inhibitors of Abeta aggregation, we have developed a high-throughput screen based on an earlier selection that effectively paired the folding quality control feature of the Escherichia coli Tat protein export system with aggregation of the 42-residue AD pathogenesis effecter Abeta42. Specifically, a tripartite fusion between the Tat-dependent export signal ssTorA, the Abeta42 peptide and the beta-lactamase (Bla) reporter enzyme was found to be export incompetent due to aggregation of the Abeta42 moiety. Here, we reasoned that small, cell-permeable molecules that inhibited Abeta42 aggregation would render the ssTorA-Abeta42-Bla chimera competent for Tat export to the periplasm where Bla is active against beta-lactam antibiotics such as ampicillin. Using a fluorescence-based version of our assay, we screened a library of triazine derivatives and isolated four nontoxic, cell-permeable compounds that promoted efficient Tat-dependent export of ssTorA-Abeta42-Bla. Each of these was subsequently shown to be a bona fide inhibitor of Abeta42 aggregation using a standard thioflavin T fibrillization assay, thereby highlighting the utility of our bacterial assay as a useful screen for antiaggregation factors under physiological conditions.