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Acc Chem Res. 2006 Sep;39(9):663-70.

Direct observation of amyloid fibril growth, propagation, and adaptation.

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Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Amyloid fibrils form through nucleation and growth. To clarify the mechanism involved, direct observations of both processes are important. First, seed-dependent fibril growth of beta2-microglobulin (beta2-m) and amyloid beta peptide was visualized in real time at the single fibril level using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy combined with the binding of thioflavin T, an amyloid-specific fluorescence dye. Second, using atomic force microscopy, ultrasonication-induced formation of beta2-m fibrils was shown, indicating that ultrasonication is useful to accelerate the nucleation process. Third, with the proteolytic fragment of beta2-m, propagation and a transformation of fibril morphology was demonstrated. These direct observations indicate that template-dependent growth and structural diversity are key factors determining the structure and function of amyloid fibrils.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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