Stop-and-go kinetics in amyloid fibrillation

Jesper Ferkinghoff-Borg, Jesper Fonslet, Christian Beyschau Andersen, Sandeep Krishna, Simone Pigolotti, Hisashi Yagi, Yuji Goto, Daniel Otzen, Mogens H Jensen

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Many human diseases are associated with protein aggregation and fibrillation. We present experiments on in vitro glucagon fibrillation using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, providing real-time measurements of single-fibril growth. We find that amyloid fibrils grow in an intermittent fashion, with periods of growth followed by long pauses. The observed exponential distributions of stop and growth times support a Markovian model, in which fibrils shift between the two states with specific rates. Even if the individual rates vary considerably, we observe that the probability of being in the growing (stopping) state is very close to 1/4 (3/4) in all experiments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue1 Pt 1
Pages (from-to)010901
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • Amyloid
  • Computer Simulation
  • Crystallization
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Conformation


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