SSNMR-AMYLOIDS - Amyloid fibril structures explored by solid-state NMR. 

Time period:
2006-12-01 - 2008-11-30
Marie Curie Actions (MCA)

Amyloid fibrils are self-assembled filamentous structures associated with a wide variety of severely debilitating human pathologies like Alzheimers disease, type II diabetes and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Despite the immense medical importance of amyloid fibrils, no atomic-resolution structures are available for these materials yet. The aim of the project is to determine the structure of the carboxy-terminal part of the prion protein HET-s in its fibrillar state using solid-state NMR. For this fragment, the structure-infectivity correlation has been established, and the host laboratory has already collected information about secondary structure elements. Solid-state NMR is to date the only technique capable of obtaining the structure of such non-crystalline compounds. The state-of-the art methods in solid-state NMR of the host will be combined with the knowledge of the fellow in liquid crystal NMR to provide accurate structural restraints and obtain a structure at atomic resolution. In particular, new NMR experiments will be implemented using fully-labeled and axially-oriented protein samples. The information obtained by solid-state NMR will be completed with Electron Diffraction and Atomic Force Microscopy data. The results for the HET-s fibrillar system will give a detailed molecular explanation of the characteristic properties of the amyloid fibrils, in particular their unusual stability. This will help designing new drugs against amyloid diseases.

Principal investigators
Scientific co-ordinator:
Beat H. Meier (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zuerich)

Related Areas

Last updated on 2011-08-18 at 19:12