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Ligand Profiling to Characterize Different Polymorphic Forms of α-Synuclein Aggregates.

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Chisholm, Timothy S  ORCID logo
Hunter, Christopher A  ORCID logo


The presence of amyloid fibrils is a characteristic feature of many diseases, most famously neurodegenerative disease. The supramolecular structure of these fibrils appears to be disease-specific. Identifying the unique morphologies of amyloid fibrils could, therefore, form the basis of a diagnostic tool. Here we report a method to characterize the morphology of α-synuclein (αSyn) fibrils based on profiling multiple different ligand binding sites that are present on the surfaces of fibrils. By employing various competition binding assays, seven different types of binding sites were identified on four different morphologies of αSyn fibrils. Similar binding sites on different fibrils were shown to bind ligands with significantly different affinities. We combined this information to construct individual profiles for different αSyn fibrils based on the distribution of binding sites and ligand interactions. These results demonstrate that ligand-based profiling can be used as an analytical method to characterize fibril morphologies with operationally simple fluorescence binding assays.



40 Engineering, 34 Chemical Sciences, Neurosciences, Acquired Cognitive Impairment, Neurodegenerative, Dementia, Brain Disorders, 2.1 Biological and endogenous factors, 2 Aetiology

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J Am Chem Soc

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American Chemical Society (ACS)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P030467/1)
Cambridge Trust Prince of Wales Scholarship, and the EPSRC Underpinning MultiUser Equipment Call (EP/P030467/1).