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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Dec 2;131(47):17482-9. doi: 10.1021/ja9077599.

Structural properties of pore-forming oligomers of alpha-synuclein.

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  • 1Department of NMR-Based Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


Soluble oligomers are potent toxins in many neurodegenerative diseases, but little is known about the structure of soluble oligomers and their structure-toxicity relationship. Here we prepared on-pathway oligomers of the 140-residue protein alpha-synuclein, a key player in Parkinson's disease, at concentrations an order of magnitude higher than previously possible. The oligomers form ion channels with well-defined conductance states in a variety of membranes, and their beta-structure differs from that of amyloid fibrils of alpha-synuclein.

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