Rosetta Stone for Amyloid Fibrils: The Key Role of Ring-Like Oligomers in Amyloidogenesis

J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;59(3):785-795. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170230.


Deeper understanding of processes of protein misfolding, aggregation, formation of oligomers, protofibrils, and fibrils is crucial for the development of future medicine in treatment of amyloid-related diseases. While numerous reports illuminate the field, the above processes are extremely complex, as they depend on many varying parameters, such as the peptide concentration, temperature, pH, presence of metal ions, lipids, and organic solvents. Different mechanisms of amyloid fibril formation have been proposed, but the process of the oligomer-to-fibril transition is the least agreed upon. Our studies of a number of amyloidogenic proteins and peptides (insulin, Aβ peptides, the Bgl2 protein from the yeast cell wall), as well as their amyloidogenic fragments, have allowed us to propose a model of the fibril structure generation. We have found that the main building block of fibrils of any morphology is a ring-like oligomer. The varying models of interaction of ring oligomers with each other revealed in our studies make it possible to explain their polymorphism. Crucially, the amino acid sequence determines the oligomer structure for the given protein/peptide.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β; insulin; nucleus; ring-like oligomers; seeds.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Amyloidosis / metabolism*
  • Amyloidosis / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Folding


  • Amyloid