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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 7;106(27):11119-24. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0901422106. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

Ultrasonication-dependent production and breakdown lead to minimum-sized amyloid fibrils.

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  • 1Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University and Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Because of the insolubility and polymeric properties of amyloid fibrils, techniques used conventionally to analyze protein structure and dynamics have often been hampered. Ultrasonication can induce the monomeric solution of amyloidogenic proteins to form amyloid fibrils. However, ultrasonication can break down preformed fibrils into shorter fibrils. Here, combining these 2 opposing effects on beta(2)-microglobulin (beta2-m), a protein responsible for dialysis-related amyloidosis, we present that ultrasonication pulses are useful for preparing monodispersed amyloid fibrils of minimal size with an average molecular weight of approximately 1,660,000 (140-mer). The production of minimal and monodispersed fibrils is achieved by the free energy minimum under competition between fibril production and breakdown. The small homogeneous fibrils will be of use for characterizing the structure and dynamics of amyloid fibrils, advancing molecular understanding of amyloidosis.

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