Identifying the molecular processes leading to the formation of fibrillar protein aggregates

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Identifying the molecular processes leading to the formation of fibrillar protein aggregates

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 5th November 2012
  • Speaker: Jason Kalapothakis (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Biomolecular self-assembly is a recurring theme in the chemistry of living organisms. In addition to its physiological role, protein self-assembly is a symptom of several debilitating diseases, including a number of neurodegenerative disorders. Numerous and diverse peptides can assemble into a fibrous state, known as amyloid. An understanding of the link between events that take place at the molecular level and the resulting morphology of protein fibres is vital to every attempt to control polypeptide aggregation. In this work protein aggregation has been monitored over a variety of scales. The presence of peptide monomers and oligomers has been achieved via mass spectrometry; structural information was obtained by observation of the transport properties of monomeric and oligomeric ions by ion mobility spectrometry. The growth kinetics of the fibrils was measured by thioflavin T fluorescence and the resulting fibrils were visualised by microscopy methods, namely transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. This host of experiments have enabled the characterisation of key events during the self-assembly pathway of the polypeptides studied.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.