Cholesterol Greases the Aβ Aggregation Machine
When left to their own devices, Aβ42 monomers tend to ignore each other, but add a little bit of the social lubricant into the mix, and the peptides hook up and form fibrils. So claims a May 7 paper in Nature Chemistry. Researchers led by Michele Vendruscolo at the University of Cambridge in England reported that exposure to vesicles embedded with cholesterol hastened the formation of Aβ42 fibrils in solution. Specifically, cholesterol accelerated primary nucleation—the oligomerization of Aβ42 monomers—as opposed to fueling the elongation of fibrils or the secondary seeding of new aggregates by the fibrils themselves.
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