Amyloid formation: interface influence
Hamley, I. W. (2010) Amyloid formation: interface influence. Nature Chemistry, 2. pp. 707-708. ISSN 1755-4330
To link to this article DOI: 10.1038/nchem.816
The causes of pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are becoming better understood. Proteins that misfold from their native structure to form aggregates of β-sheet fibrils — termed amyloid — are known1,2 to be implicated in these ‘amyloid diseases’. Understanding the early steps of fibril formation is critical, and the conditions, mechanism and kinetics of protein and peptide aggregation are being widely investigated through a variety of in vitro studies. Kinetic aspects of the dispersion of the protein or peptide in solution are thought to influence the fibrillization process by mass-transfer effects. In addition, mixing also leads to shear forces, which can influence fibril growth by perturbing the equilibrium between the isolated and aggregated proteins, causing existing fibrils to fragment and create new nuclei3. Writing in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, David Talaga and co-workers have now highlighted4 an additional factor that can influence the fibrillization of amyloid-forming proteins — the presence of hydrophobic interfaces.