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Nanoscale Discrimination between Toxic and Nontoxic Protein Misfolded Oligomers with Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.

08:00 EDT 9th August 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Nanoscale Discrimination between Toxic and Nontoxic Protein Misfolded Oligomers with Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy."

Highly toxic protein misfolded oligomers associated with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are nowadays considered primarily responsible for promoting synaptic failure and neuronal death. Unraveling the relationship between structure and neurotoxicity of protein oligomers appears pivotal in understanding the causes of the pathological process, as well as in designing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies tuned toward the earliest and presymptomatic stages of the disease. Here, it is benefited from tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) as a surface-sensitive tool with spatial resolution on the nanoscale, to inspect the spatial organization and surface character of individual protein oligomers from two samples formed by the same polypeptide sequence and different toxicity levels. TERS provides direct assignment of specific amino acid residues that are exposed to a large extent on the surface of toxic species and buried in nontoxic oligomers. These residues, thanks to their outward disposition, might represent structural factors driving the pathogenic behavior exhibited by protein misfolded oligomers, including affecting cell membrane integrity and specific signaling pathways in neurodegenerative conditions.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)
ISSN: 1613-6829
Pages: e1800890

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