Amyloid fibrils may adopt different morphologies depending on the solution conditions and the protein sequence. Here, we show that two chemically identical but morphologically distinct α-synuclein fibrils can form under identical conditions. This was observed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), circular dichroism (CD), and fluorescence spectroscopy, as well as by cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). The results show different surface properties of the two morphologies, A and B. NMR measurements show that monomers interact differently with the different fibril surfaces. Only a small part of the N-terminus of the monomer interacts with the fibril surface of morphology A, compared to a larger part of the monomer for morphology B. Differences in ThT binding seen by fluorescence titrations, and mesoscopic structures seen by cryo-TEM, support the conclusion of the two morphologies having different surface properties. Fibrils of morphology B were found to have lower solubility than A. This indicates that fibrils of morphology B are thermodynamically more stable, implying a chemical potential of fibrils of morphology B that is lower than that of morphology A. Consequently, at prolonged incubation time, fibrils of morphology B remained B, while an initially monomorphic sample of morphology A gradually transformed to B.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5191
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Free keywords

  • aggregation
  • monomorphic
  • morphology
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • polymorphic
  • self-assembly
  • stability


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