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Structure, conformational dynamics and formation of large amyloids: the case of alpha-synuclein fibrils

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Title: Structure, conformational dynamics and formation of large amyloids: the case of alpha-synuclein fibrils
Author(s): Comellas Canal, Gemma
Director of Research: Chad, Rienstra M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Chad, Rienstra M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Julia, George M.; Klaus, Schulten J.; Martin, Gruebele H.
Department / Program: School of Molecular & Cell Bio
Discipline: Biophysics & Computnl Biology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) magic-angle spinning (MAS) protein structure alpha-synuclein (AS).
Abstract: In my thesis, I have focused on new methodology development combined with state-of-the-art solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments with scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to obtain atomic level structural information of the alpha-synuclein (AS) fibrils and the mechanism of their formation; We first investigated the effect of protein deuteration and 1H decoupling optimization to maximize the resolution and sensitivity of biomolecular solid-state NMR; We then applied state-of-the-art solid-state NMR experiments to do a detailed structural characterization and conformational dynamics of AS fibrils using improved sample preparation and labeling schemes; These results show that the core of the fibrils extends for about 70 residues with a repeated secondary structure motif; Additionally, it demonstrates that the three mutation sites (A30P, E46K, A53T) are located in structured regions of the fibrils; Upon mutation, we have shown that the structure suffers major and minor perturbations by E46K and A53T, respectively; while the structure is unaltered by A30P; The fibril formation has also been investigated by capturing the transition from α-helical to β-sheet at the atomic level using solid-state NMR; Additionally, to investigate the AS fold, the mass-per-length (MPL) measurement of the fibrils has been obtained using STEM that together with solid-state NMR restraints have been used to propose possible models of how the fibrils arrange; Finally, initial results for solving 3D high-resolution structures of large proteins with new computational methods have been investigated.
Issue Date: 2012-06-27
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/31996
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Gemma Comellas Canal
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-06-27
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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