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Amyloidogenic neurodegenerative diseases are incurable conditions with high social impact that are typically caused by specific, largely disordered proteins. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive to established techniques. A favored hypothesis postulates that a critical conformational change in the monomer (an ideal therapeutic target)(More)
Protein mechanostability is a fundamental biological property that can only be measured by single-molecule manipulation techniques. Such studies have unveiled a variety of highly mechanostable modules (mainly of the Ig-like, beta-sandwich type) in modular proteins subjected to mechanical stress from the cytoskeleton and the metazoan cell-cell interface.(More)
Nanomechanical analysis of proteins by single-molecule force spectroscopy based on atomic force microscopy is increasingly being used to investigate the inner workings of mechanical proteins and substrate proteins of unfoldase machines as well as to gain new insight into the process of protein folding. However, such studies are hindered by a number of(More)
Amyloids are ordered protein aggregates that are typically associated with neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive impairment. By contrast, the amyloid-like state of the neuronal RNA binding protein Orb2 in Drosophila was recently implicated in memory consolidation, but it remains unclear what features of this functional amyloid-like protein give rise to(More)
TDP-43 can form pathological proteinaceous aggregates linked to ALS and FTLD. Within the putative aggregation domain, engineered repeats of residues 341-366 can recruit endogenous TDP-43 into aggregates inside cells; however, the nature of these aggregates is a debatable issue. Recently, we showed that a coil to β-hairpin transition in a short peptide(More)
Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are predicted to represent about one third of the eukaryotic proteome. The dynamic ensemble of conformations of this steadily growing class of proteins has remained hardly accessible for bulk biophysical techniques. However, single-molecule techniques provide a useful means of studying these proteins. Atomic force(More)
Several important human inherited neurodegenerative diseases are caused by "polyQ expansions", which are aberrant long repeats of glutamine residues in proteins. PolyQ binding peptide 1 (QBP1), whose minimal active core sequence is Trp-Lys-Trp-Trp-Pro-Gly-Ile-Phe, binds to expanded polyQs and blocks their β-structure transition, aggregation and in vivo(More)
Astrocytes actively participate in neuro-inflammatory processes associated to Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other brain pathologies. We recently showed that an astrocyte-specific intracellular signaling pathway involving an interaction of the phosphatase calcineurin with the transcription factor FOXO3 is a major driver in AD-associated pathological(More)
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