AMYLOIDS AND PRIONS.
Several lines of
evidence suggest that amyloid fibrils play a causative role in several
neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer, Parkinson and Hungtington
deseases. Despite a number of efforts, an understanding of the structure and
mechanism of amyloid fibril formation remains elusive. This dilemma may be
attributed to the fact that methods of high resolution structure determination
- X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy - cannot be used on account of the
polymeric character and insolubility of the fibrils. The determination of the
fibril structure goes throughout suggestions of structural models in the
process of accumulation of experimental evidences, until a unique model can
explain the whole set of data.