Amyloids are implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. Fibrillar aggregates of the amyloid-beta protein (A beta) are the main component of the senile plaques found in brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. We present the structure of an A beta(1-42) fibril composed of two intertwined protofilaments determined by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to 4.0-angstrom resolution, complemented by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. The backbone of all 42 residues and nearly all side chains are well resolved in the EM density map, including the entire N terminus, which is part of the cross-beta structure resulting in an overall "LS"-shaped topology of individual subunits. The dimer interface protects the hydrophobic C termini from the solvent. The characteristic staggering of the nonplanar subunits results in markedly different fibril ends, termed "groove" and "ridge," leading to different binding pathways on both fibril ends, which has implications for fibril growth.
- ATOMIC-RESOLUTION STRUCTURE
- BETA-AMYLOID FIBRILS