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Reference: Goldsbury C, et al. (2011) Amyloid structure and assembly: Insights from scanning transmission electron microscopy. J Struct Biol 173(1):1-13

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Abstract

Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases like Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).CI - Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Goldsbury C, Baxa U, Simon MN, Steven AC, Engel A, Wall JS, Aebi U, Muller SA
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