Biological Physics


New publication in PNAS for Saric Lab

16 December 2020

Physical mechanisms of amyloid nucleation on fluid membranes.

as news

Cellular membranes are believed to play a central role in the formation of amyloid aggregates implicated in pathologies like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Indeed, lipid membranes can significantly accelerate amyloid aggregation through a process that depends on the membrane-phase behavior, the molecular mechanisms of which are still unclear. The Saric group, in collaboration with the Knowles group from the University of Cambridge, developed a coarse-grained computer model to explore pathways of amyloid aggregation on cell membranes. They found that increase in membrane fluidity drastically enhances the rate of amyloid aggregation by enabling lipid incorporation into the fibril structure. By directly comparing with experimental data, the simulations were able to offer a mechanistic explanation for the membrane-assisted amyloid nucleation.