Non-fibrillar Components of Amyloid Deposits Mediate the Self-association and Tangling of Amyloid Fibrils Academic Article uri icon


  • Amyloid deposits are proteinaceous extra-cellular aggregates associated with a diverse range of disease states. These deposits are composed predominantly of amyloid fibrils, the unbranched, beta-sheet rich structures that result from the misfolding and subsequent aggregation of many proteins. In addition, amyloid deposits contain a number of non-fibrillar components that interact with amyloid fibrils and are incorporated into the deposits in their native folded state. The influence of a number of the non-fibrillar components in amyloid-related diseases is well established; however, the mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we describe the effect of two of the most important non-fibrillar components, serum amyloid P component and apolipoprotein E, upon the solution behavior of amyloid fibrils in an in vitro model system. Using analytical ultracentrifugation, electron microscopy, and rheological measurements, we demonstrate that these non-fibrillar components cause soluble fibrils to condense into localized fibrillar aggregates with a greatly enhanced local density of fibril entanglements. These results suggest a possible mechanism for the observed role of non-fibrillar components as mediators of amyloid deposition and deposit stability.


  • MacRaild, Christopher A
  • Stewart, Cameron R
  • Mok, Yee-Foong
  • Gunzburg, Menachem J
  • Perugini, Matthew A
  • Lawrence, Lynne J
  • Tirtaatmadja, Viyada
  • Cooper-White, Justin J
  • Howlett, Geoffrey J

publication date

  • May 14, 2004