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Methods. 2004 Sep;34(1):151-60.

Techniques to study amyloid fibril formation in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, McDaniel College, Eaton Hall, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157, USA.


Amyloid fibrils are ordered aggregates of peptides or proteins that are fibrillar in structure and contribute to the complications of many diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, and primary systemic amyloidosis). These fibrils can also be prepared in vitro and there are three criteria that define a protein aggregate as an amyloid fibril: green birefringence upon staining with Congo Red, fibrillar morphology, and beta-sheet secondary structure. The purpose of this review is to describe the techniques used to study amyloid fibril formation in vitro, address common errors in the collection and interpretation of data, and open a discussion for a critical review of the criteria currently used to classify a protein aggregate as an amyloid fibril.

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