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J Mol Biol. 2000 May 19;298(5):833-40.

In-situ atomic force microscopy study of beta-amyloid fibrillization.

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Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.


We report the use of atomic force microscopy to observe the initial stages of beta-amyloid fibrillization in situ. The growth of individual beta-amyloid protofibrils on a mica substrate was followed over several hours. The first in situ visualization of protofibril formation from single aggregate units of beta-amyloid is reported. The growth of these protofibrils through the subsequent addition of these aggregate units is also observed. Growth of the protofibrils is bi-directional and the outgrowth of protofibrils from a common amyloid/heterogeneous core is also observed. Elongation also occurred by the addition of protofibrils from solution. This data provides an exciting insight into the early stages of beta-amyloid fibrillization and can be used to enhance the understanding of the mechanism(s) by which beta-amyloid fibrillizes and may consequently enable inhibition of one or more stages of fibrillization as a potential therapeutic strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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