Supra-fibrillar amyloid assemblies


The Lewy Bodies characteristic of Parkinson’s disease consist of supra-fibrillar amyloid aggregates of the neuronal protein α-synuclein. The development and role of these aggregates in the disease process is not understood. Supra-fibrillar amyloid aggregates reminiscent of the structures observed in disease were recently found to spontaneously form in solution at physiological salt concentration. The spontaneous assembly of supra-fibrillar assemblies makes it possible to systematically study their formation mechanism. Moreover interactions with different cellular components found in disease related deposits can be tested which makes it possible to develop and test new hypotheses for amyloid toxicity.

Phase contrast image of self assembled supra-fibrillar α-synuclein aggregates in buffer solution at pH 7.4.

PhD student: Dirk Roelof Dekker
Project leader: Mireille Claessens