Volume 89 Issue 7 | p. 35 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 14, 2011

Neurotoxic Oligomer’s Structure Uncovered

Small-angle X-ray scattering enabled researchers to analyze aggregated α-synuclein associated with Parkinson’s disease
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, α-synuclein, fibrillation, neurotoxic oligomers

Using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), an international research team has determined the low-resolution structure of α-synuclein oligomer, an aggregated protein intermediate thought to be part of the fibril formation process that is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1013225108). Scientists have suggested that oligomers, rather than protein monomers or fibrils, are the toxic species involved in the neurodegenerative disorder. But questions about the role of oligomers in fibril . . .

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