Christian Riekel

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Numerous soluble proteins convert to insoluble amyloid-like fibrils that have common properties. Amyloid fibrils are associated with fatal diseases such as Alzheimer's, and amyloid-like fibrils can be formed in vitro. For the yeast protein Sup35, conversion to amyloid-like fibrils is associated with a transmissible infection akin to that caused by mammalian(More)
Amyloid fibrils formed from different proteins, each associated with a particular disease, contain a common cross-beta spine. The atomic architecture of a spine, from the fibril-forming segment GNNQQNY of the yeast prion protein Sup35, was recently revealed by X-ray microcrystallography. It is a pair of beta-sheets, with the facing side chains of the two(More)
The stone-like otoliths from the ears of teleost fishes are involved in balance and hearing and consist of calcium carbonate crystallites embedded in a protein framework. We report that a previously unknown gene, starmaker, is required in zebrafish for otolith morphogenesis. Reduction of starmaker activity by injection of modified antisense oligonucleotides(More)
Human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP or amylin) is a 37-residue hormone found as fibrillar deposits in pancreatic extracts of nearly all type II diabetics. Although the cellular toxicity of IAPP has been established, the structure of the fibrillar form found in these deposits is unknown. Here we have crystallized two segments from IAPP, which themselves(More)
Intermediate filaments (IFs) impart mechanical integrity to cells, yet IF mechanics are poorly understood. It is assumed that IFs in cells are as stiff as hard alpha-keratin, F-actin, and microtubules, but the high bending flexibility of IFs and the low stiffness of soft alpha-keratins suggest that hydrated IFs may be quite soft. To test this hypothesis, we(More)
Tension wood is widespread in the organs of woody plants. During its formation, it generates a large tensile mechanical stress, called maturation stress. Maturation stress performs essential biomechanical functions such as optimizing the mechanical resistance of the stem, performing adaptive movements, and ensuring long-term stability of growing plants.(More)
The known silk fibroins and fibrous glues are thought to be encoded by members of the same gene family. All silk fibroins sequenced to date contain regions of long-range order (crystalline regions) and/or short-range order (non-crystalline regions). All of the sequenced fibroin silks (Flag or silk from flagelliform gland in spiders; Fhc or heavy chain(More)
Many fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson, the prion-related diseases, and non-neurodegenerative disorders such as type II diabetes are characterized by abnormal amyloid fiber aggregates, suggesting a common mechanism of pathogenesis. We have discovered that a class of systematically designed natural tri- to hexapeptides with a(More)
We measured the elemental compositions of material from 23 particles in aerogel and from residue in seven craters in aluminum foil that was collected during passage of the Stardust spacecraft through the coma of comet 81P/Wild 2. These particles are chemically heterogeneous at the largest size scale analyzed ( approximately 180 ng). The mean elemental(More)