Molecular Biology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 62–68 | Cite as

Anomalous Kinetics of Amyloidogenesis Suggest a Competition between Oligomers and Fibrils

  • A. V. FinkelsteinEmail author
  • N. V. Dovidchenko
  • O. V. Galzitskaya
Open Access
Structural Functional Analysis of Biopolymers and Their Complexes


Meisl et al. have recently observed an anomalous dependence of the amyloid formation rate on the protein concentration. A novel mechanism of fibril growth has been proposed by Meisl et al. to explain the abnormality; it consists in the fibril-catalyzed initiation of fibril formation with saturation of catalytic sites at high concentrations of substrates. Our article describes an alternative explanation of the anomalous kinetics, assuming that the formation of metastable oligomers competes with fibril formation by decreasing the concentration of free monomers. Oligomers are indeed observed in the course of amyloid formation, but are usually considered as seeds of amyloid fibrils rather as their competitors. However, the oligomers visually detectable by electron microscopy were shown to be close in size to those that can be derived from the anomalous dependence of the amyloid growth rate on the protein concentration, given that the anomaly results from competition between oligomer formation and amyloidogenesis.


amyloids kinetics aggregation fibril initiation of fibril formation amyloid aggregation half-time fibril-catalyzed initiation metastable oligomers competition with amyloid formation law of mass action 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Open access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Finkelstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. V. Dovidchenko
    • 1
  • O. V. Galzitskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Protein ResearchRussian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow oblastRussia

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