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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Jul;82(1 Pt 1):010901. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

Stop-and-go kinetics in amyloid fibrillation.

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DTU Elektro, Building 349, ├śrsteds Plads, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark.


Many human diseases are associated with protein aggregation and fibrillation. We present experiments on in vitro glucagon fibrillation using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, providing real-time measurements of single-fibril growth. We find that amyloid fibrils grow in an intermittent fashion, with periods of growth followed by long pauses. The observed exponential distributions of stop and growth times support a Markovian model, in which fibrils shift between the two states with specific rates. Even if the individual rates vary considerably, we observe that the probability of being in the growing (stopping) state is very close to 1/4 (3/4) in all experiments.

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