A view of pathogenic fibrils

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Science  13 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6287, pp. 784-785
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6287.784-c

The protein α-synuclein (α-syn) accumulates in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease (PD), forming fibrils that are a hallmark of the disease. Tuttle et al. used sophisticated solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance techniques to determine a high-resolution three-dimensional structure of α-syn fibrils which they validated by electron microscopy and x-ray fiber diffraction. The structure exhibits many of the features that stabilize typical amyloid fibrils (like those seen in Alzheimer's disease), including a stacked α-sheet structure with a tightly packed core, but in this case the strands in each α sheet follow a serpentine, Greek-key–like pattern. The structure may facilitate the development of diagnostic agents for PD.

Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 10.1038/nsmb.3194 (2016).

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