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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 May 28;130(21):6690-1. doi: 10.1021/ja8010429. Epub 2008 May 6.

Broken helix in vesicle and micelle-bound alpha-synuclein: insights from site-directed spin labeling-EPR experiments and MD simulations.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova, via Marzolo, 1, 35131 Padova, Italy.


The region 35-43 of human alpha-Synuclein bound to small unilamellar lipid vesicles and to sodium dodecyl sulfate micelles has been investigated by site-directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The distance distributions obtained from spectral fitting have been analyzed on the basis of the allowed rotamers of the spin-label side-chain. Very similar results have been obtained in the two environments: an unbroken helical structure of the investigated region can be ruled out. The distance distributions are rather compatible with the presence of conformational disorder, in agreement with previous findings for micelle-bound alpha-Synuclein. The propensity for helix breaking is confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations.

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