Crystal structure of a human prion protein fragment reveals a motif for oligomer formation.
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:J Am Chem Soc, Volume 135, Issue 28, p.10202-5 (2013)
Keywords:Crystallography, X-Ray, Humans, Models, Molecular, Prions, Protein Conformation
<p>The structural transition of the prion protein from α-helical- to β-sheet-rich underlies its conversion into infectious and disease-associated isoforms. Here we describe the crystal structure of a fragment from human prion protein consisting of the disulfide-bond-linked portions of helices 2 and 3. Instead of forming a pair-of-sheets steric zipper structure characteristic of amyloid fibers, this fragment crystallized into a β-sheet-rich assembly of hexameric oligomers. This study reveals a never before observed structural motif for ordered protein aggregates and suggests a possible mechanism for self-propagation of misfolded conformations by such nonamyloid oligomers. </p>