Author(s): Serpell LC, Sunde M, Benson MD, Tennent GA, Pepys MB,
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Abstract Tissue deposition of normally soluble proteins, or their fragments, as insoluble amyloid fibrils causes the usually fatal, acquired and hereditary systemic amyloidoses and is associated with the pathology of Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Although each type of amyloidosis is characterised by a specific amyloid fibril protein, the deposits share pathognomonic histochemical properties and the structural morphology of all amyloid fibrils is very similar. We have previously demonstrated that transthyretin amyloid fibrils contain four constituent protofilaments packed in a square array. Here, we have used cross-correlation techniques to average electron microscopy images of multiple cross-sections in order to reconstruct the sub-structure of ex vivo amyloid fibrils composed of amyloid A protein, monoclonal immunoglobulin lambda light chain, Leu60Arg variant apolipoprotein AI, and Asp67His variant lysozyme, as well as synthetic fibrils derived from a ten-residue peptide corresponding to the A-strand of transthyretin. All the fibrils had an electron-lucent core but the packing arrangement comprised five or six protofilaments rather than four. The structural similarity that defines amyloid fibres thus exists principally at the level of beta-sheet folding of the polypeptides within the protofilament, while the different types vary in the supramolecular assembly of their protofilaments. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
This article was published in J Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques