White, DA and Dobson, CM and Welland, ME and Knowles, TPJ (2010) Quantitative approaches for characterising fibrillar protein nanostructures. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 1274. pp. 33-39. ISSN 0272-9172Full text not available from this repository.
Polypeptide sequences have an inherent tendency to self-assemble into filamentous nanostructures commonly known as amyloid fibrils. Such self-assembly is used in nature to generate a variety of functional materials ranging from protective coatings in bacteria to catalytic scaffolds in mammals. The aberrant self-assembly of misfolded peptides and proteins is also, however, implicated in a range of disease states including neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It is increasingly evident that the intrinsic material properties of these structures are crucial for understanding the thermodynamics and kinetics of the pathological deposition of proteins, particularly as the mechanical fragmentation of aggregates enhances the rate of protein deposition by exposing new fibril ends which can promote further growth. We discuss here recent advances in physical techniques that are able to characterise the hierarchical self-assembly of misfolded protein molecnles and define their properties. © 2010 Materials Research Society.
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