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ACS Chem Biol. 2014 Feb 21;9(2):378-82. doi: 10.1021/cb400616y. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

Single point mutations induce a switch in the molecular mechanism of the aggregation of the Alzheimer's disease associated Aβ42 peptide.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge , Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, United Kingdom.


Single point mutations in the Alzheimer's disease associated Aβ42 peptide are found to alter significantly its neurotoxic properties in vivo and have been associated with early onset forms of this devastating condition. We show that such mutations can induce structural changes in Aβ42 fibrils and are associated with a dramatic switch in the fibril-dependent mechanism by which Aβ42 aggregates. These observations reveal how subtle perturbations to the physicochemical properties of the Aβ peptide, and the structural properties of fibrils that it forms, can have profound effects on the mechanism of its aggregation and pathogenicity.

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