Fibrillogenesis of huntingtin and other glutamine containing proteins

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10 Scopus citations


This chapter focuses on the aggregation of glutamine containing peptides and proteins with an emphasis on huntingtin protein, whose aggregation leads to the development of Huntington’s disease. The kinetics that leads to the formation of amyloids, the structure of aggregates of various types and the morphological mechanical properties of amyloid fibrils are described. The kinetics of amyloid fibril formation has been proposed to follow a nucleation dependent polymerization model, dependent upon the size of the nucleus. This model and the effect of the polyglutamine length on the nucleus size are reviewed. Aggregate structure is characterized at two different levels. The atomic-scale resolution structure of fibrillar and crystalline aggregates of polyglutamine containing proteins and peptides was determined by X-ray crystallography and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The chapter outlines the results obtained by both these techniques. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was instrumental in elucidating the morphology of fibrils, their organization and assembly. The chapter also discusses the high stability of amyloid fibrils, including their mechanical properties as revealed by AFM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-251
Number of pages27
JournalSub-cellular biochemistry
StatePublished - 2012


  • AFM
  • Amyloids
  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Fibrillogenesis
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Self-assembly
  • Solid-state NMR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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