European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 701–709

Large size fibrillar bundles of the Alzheimer amyloid β-protein

  • Rita Carrotta
  • Jennifer Barthès
  • Alessandro Longo
  • Vincenzo Martorana
  • Mauro Manno
  • Giuseppe Portale
  • Pier Luigi San Biagio
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00249-007-0164-0

Cite this article as:
Carrotta, R., Barthès, J., Longo, A. et al. Eur Biophys J (2007) 36: 701. doi:10.1007/s00249-007-0164-0

Abstract

Self-assembly of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) and its deposition into senile plaques are distinctive features of Alzheimer’s disease. Aβ forms typical linear aggregates known as amyloid fibrils, with a diameter of a few tens of nanometers and a length spanning from hundreds of nanometers to micrometers. Fibrils eventually assemble into large size clusters and precipitate in vivo in the brain deposits. Here, we study the late stage of aggregation of Aβ(1–40) in vitro at pH 3.1. We characterize the structure of fibrillar aggregates by a combined use of different experimental techniques. Small angle light scattering, heterodyne near field scattering, large angle light scattering, ultra small angle X-ray scattering and small angle X-ray scattering measurements have been performed to highlight the structural features of amyloid bundles over several lengthscales, from nanometers to tens of micrometers. Phase contrast optical microscopy has been used to complement scattering measurements and directly visualize some morphological details. We show that elongated fibrils of Aβ with a diameter of a few nanometers are packed into large size compact bundles having a typical size of tens of micrometers. The linear morphology of fibrils is reflected in the elongated shape of bundles.

Keywords

Amyloid fibrils Alzheimer Plaques Light scattering X-ray scattering 

Abbreviations

amyloid β-protein

SALS

small angle light scattering

HNFS

heterodyne near field scattering

LALS

large angle light scattering

SAXS

small angle X-ray scattering

USAXS

ultra small angle X-ray scattering

Copyright information

© EBSA 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rita Carrotta
    • 1
  • Jennifer Barthès
    • 2
  • Alessandro Longo
    • 3
  • Vincenzo Martorana
    • 2
  • Mauro Manno
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Portale
    • 4
  • Pier Luigi San Biagio
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Astronomical ScienceUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Biophysics at PalermoItalian National Research CouncilPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (Palermo)Italian National Research CouncilPalermoItaly
  4. 4.Grenoble CedexFrance

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