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Prion proteins can serve as genetic elements by adopting distinct physical and functional states that are self-perpetuating and heritable. The critical region of one prion protein, Sup35, is initially unstructured in solution and then forms self-seeded amyloid fibers. We examined in vitro the mechanism by which this state is attained and replicated.(More)
Protein aggregation results in beta-sheet-like assemblies that adopt either a variety of amorphous morphologies or ordered amyloid-like structures. These differences in structure also reflect biological differences; amyloid and amorphous beta-sheet aggregates have different chaperone affinities, accumulate in different cellular locations and are degraded by(More)
Missense mutations (A30P and A53T) in alpha-synuclein and the overproduction of the wild-type protein cause familial forms of Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Alpha-synuclein is the major component of the filamentous Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites that define these diseases at a neuropathological level. Recently, a third missense mutation(More)
Filamentous inclusions made of alpha-synuclein constitute the defining neuropathological characteristic of Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy. Rare familial cases of Parkinson's disease are associated with mutations A53T and A30P in alpha-synuclein. We report here the assembly properties and secondary structure(More)
Filamentous inclusions composed of the microtubule-associated protein tau are a defining characteristic of a large number of neurodegenerative diseases. Here we show that tau degradation in stably transfected and non-transfected SH-SY5Y cells is blocked by the irreversible proteasome inhibitor lactacystin. Further, we find that in vitro, natively unfolded(More)
Prion-like propagation of tau aggregation might underlie the stereotyped progression of neurodegenerative tauopathies. True prions stably maintain unique conformations ("strains") in vivo that link structure to patterns of pathology. We now find that tau meets this criterion. Stably expressed tau repeat domain indefinitely propagates distinct amyloid(More)
Huntington disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by expanded CAG trinucleotide repeats, resulting in a polyglutamine stretch of >37 on the N terminus of the protein huntingtin (htt). htt is a large (347 kDa), ubiquitously expressed protein. The precise functions of htt are not clear, but its importance is underscored by the(More)
The most common degenerative diseases of the human brain are characterized by the presence of abnormal filamentous inclusions in affected nerve cells and glial cells. These diseases can be grouped into two classes, based on the identity of the major proteinaceous components of the filamentous assemblies. The filaments are made of either the(More)
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and its pathological hallmarks include the loss of neurones through cell death, as well as the accumulation of amyloid fibres in the form of extracellular neuritic plaques. Amyloid fibrils are composed of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), which is known to assemble to form 'toxic' oligomers that may be(More)
Tau protein, found in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells, forms aggregates in neurons that constitutes one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). For nearly four decades, research efforts have focused more on tau's role in physiology and pathology in the context of the microtubules, even though, for over three decades, tau has been localised in the(More)