X-ray scattering and diffraction by wet gels of AA amyloid fibrils.

W. Turnell*, R. Sarra, J. O. Baum, D. Caspi, M. L. Baltz, M. B. Pepys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic amyloidosis is characterized by the extracellular accumulation of protein fibrils with typical ultrastructural morphology. The persistence in vivo of amyloid fibrils, which is responsible for their serious clinical effects, has been thought to reflect the particular, specific conformation of peptide chains constituting the fibrils. On the basis of earlier structural studies this conformation is generally considered to be almost exclusively anti-parallel beta-sheets. We have re-examined X-ray scattering by human amyloid A protein (AA) amyloid fibrils, with careful attention to the state of hydration of the preparations. We show that a stack of anti-parallel sheets is not consistent with the details of the X-ray pattern, which contains diffracted intensities that can be indexed on a 33A X 33A lattice. A structural model for the AA fibre consistent with the X-ray data is presented. The model takes account of the prediction of the secondary structure of the AA precursor SAA1(alpha) presented in our accompanying paper, and has the AA monomers arranged on a primitive lattice, with two unique molecules per unit cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-424
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1986


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