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Molecules 2019, 24(1), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24010186

Vibrational Approach to the Dynamics and Structure of Protein Amyloids

1
Queen Mary School, Medical School, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031, China
2
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chong Fang
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 6 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vibrational Probes of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics)
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Abstract

Amyloid diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are linked to a poorly understood progression of protein misfolding and aggregation events that culminate in tissue-selective deposition and human pathology. Elucidation of the mechanistic details of protein aggregation and the structural features of the aggregates is critical for a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of protein oligomerization and fibrillization. Vibrational spectroscopies, such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman, are powerful tools that are sensitive to the secondary structure of proteins and have been widely used to investigate protein misfolding and aggregation. We address the application of the vibrational approaches in recent studies of conformational dynamics and structural characteristics of protein oligomers and amyloid fibrils. In particular, introduction of isotope labelled carbonyl into a peptide backbone, and incorporation of the extrinsic unnatural amino acids with vibrational moieties on the side chain, have greatly expanded the ability of vibrational spectroscopy to obtain site-specific structural and dynamic information. The applications of these methods in recent studies of protein aggregation are also reviewed. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein aggregation; amyloid; oligomers; vibrational spectroscopy; infrared; Raman; isotopic labelling; site-specific probe protein aggregation; amyloid; oligomers; vibrational spectroscopy; infrared; Raman; isotopic labelling; site-specific probe
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, H.; Lantz, R.; Du, D. Vibrational Approach to the Dynamics and Structure of Protein Amyloids. Molecules 2019, 24, 186.

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