David W. Colby

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A nonimmune library of 10(9) human antibody scFv fragments has been cloned and expressed on the surface of yeast, and nanomolar-affinity scFvs routinely obtained by magnetic bead screening and flow-cytometric sorting. The yeast library can be amplified 10(10)-fold without measurable loss of clonal diversity, allowing its effectively indefinite expansion.(More)
Fibrils composed of tau protein are a pathological hallmark of several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we show that when recombinant tau protein is seeded with paired helical filaments (PHFs) isolated from AD brain, the amyloid formed shares many of the structural features of AD PHFs. In contrast, tau amyloids formed(More)
Prions are infectious proteins that encipher biological information within their conformations; variations in these conformations dictate different prion strains. Toward elucidating the molecular language of prion protein (PrP) conformations, we produced an array of recombinant PrP amyloids with varying conformational stabilities. In mice, the most stable(More)
A conformational isoform of the mammalian prion protein (PrP(Sc)) is the sole component of the infectious pathogen that causes the prion diseases. We have obtained X-ray fiber diffraction patterns from infectious prions that show cross-beta diffraction: meridional intensity at 4.8 A resolution, indicating the presence of beta strands running approximately(More)
Neurodegeneration in Huntington disease is described by neuronal loss in which the probability of cell death remains constant with time. However, the quantitative connection between the kinetics of cell death and the molecular mechanism initiating neurodegeneration remains unclear. One hypothesis is that nucleation of protein aggregates containing exon I(More)
Prions are self-replicating proteins that can cause neurodegenerative disorders such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (also known as mad cow disease). Aberrant conformations of prion proteins accumulate in the central nervous system, causing spongiform changes in the brain and eventually death. Since the inception of the prion hypothesis - which states(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion in the number of polyglutamine-encoding CAG repeats in the gene that encodes the huntingtin (htt) protein. A property of the mutant protein that is intimately involved in the development of the disease is the propensity of the glutamine-expanded protein to misfold(More)
Many amyloid inhibitors resemble molecules that form chemical aggregates, which are known to inhibit many proteins. Eight known chemical aggregators inhibited amyloid formation of the yeast and mouse prion proteins Sup35 and recMoPrP in a manner characteristic of colloidal inhibition. Similarly, three known anti-amyloid molecules inhibited beta-lactamase in(More)
Intracellular antibodies (intrabodies) provide an attractive means for manipulating intracellular protein function, both for research and potentially for therapy. A challenge in the isolation of effective intrabodies is the ability to find molecules that exhibit sufficient binding affinity and stability when expressed in the reducing environment of the(More)
The discovery of infectious proteins, denoted prions, was unexpected. After much debate over the chemical basis of heredity, resolution of this issue began with the discovery that DNA, not protein, from pneumococcus was capable of genetically transforming bacteria (Avery et al. 1944). Four decades later, the discovery that a protein could mimic viral and(More)