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Anders Irbäck. Photo.

Anders Irbäck

Professor

Anders Irbäck. Photo.

Distinct phases of free α-synuclein - A Monte Carlo study.

Author

  • Sigurdur Jonsson
  • Sandipan Mohanty
  • Anders Irbäck

Summary, in English

The α-synuclein protein (αS), implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD), shows conformational versatility. It aggregates into β-sheet-rich fibrils, occurs in helical membrane-bound forms, is disordered as a free monomer, and has recently been suggested to have a folded helical tetramer as its main physiological form. Here we use implicit solvent all-atom Monte Carlo (MC) methods to explore the conformational ensemble sampled by the free αS monomer. We analyze secondary-structure propensities, size and topological properties, and compare with existing experimental data. Our study suggests that free αS has two distinct phases. One phase has the expected disordered character. The other phase also shows large conformational variability. However, in this phase, the β-strand content is substantial, and the backbone fold shows statistical similarities with that in αS fibrils. Presence of this phase is consistent with data from low-temperature experiments. Conversion of disordered αS to this fibril-like form requires the crossing of a rather large apparent free-energy barrier. Proteins 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Department/s

  • Computational Biology and Biological Physics
  • MultiPark: Multidisciplinary research focused on Parkinson´s disease

Publishing year

2012

Language

English

Pages

2169-2177

Publication/Series

Proteins

Volume

80

Issue

9

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

John Wiley and Sons

Topic

  • Biophysics

Keywords

  • amyloid
  • conformational heterogeneity
  • protein aggregation
  • protein folding
  • protein misfolding

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0887-3585