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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2004 Feb;14(1):96-103.

Progress towards a molecular-level structural understanding of amyloid fibrils.

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Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Building 5, Room 112, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-0520, USA.


The problem of determining and understanding the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils has attracted considerable attention and effort over the past several years. Although complete, high-resolution structures have not yet been obtained, key features of protein and peptide conformations and supramolecular organization within amyloid fibrils have been elucidated using a variety of novel experimental methods, including magnetic resonance spectroscopies, electron microscopy, X-ray and neutron scattering, and biochemical techniques. The experimental data are beginning to shed light on issues such as the nature of the intermolecular interactions that stabilize amyloid structures, the molecular structural basis for polymorphism in amyloid fibrils, the universality of amyloid structures, and the balance between structural order and disorder within amyloid fibrils. Recent structural data will contribute to an improved understanding of the mechanisms of amyloid formation and to the development of therapeutic agents for amyloid diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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