Investigating the Sequence Determinants of the Curling of Amyloid Fibrils Using Ovalbumin as a Case Study

Biomacromolecules. 2022 Sep 12;23(9):3779-3797. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.2c00660. Epub 2022 Aug 26.


Highly ordered, straight amyloid fibrils readily lend themselves to structure determination techniques and have therefore been extensively characterized. However, the less ordered curly fibrils remain relatively understudied, and the structural organization underlying their specific characteristics remains poorly understood. We found that the exemplary curly fibril-forming protein ovalbumin contains multiple aggregation prone regions (APRs) that form straight fibrils when isolated as peptides or when excised from the full-length protein through hydrolysis. In the context of the intact full-length protein, however, the regions separating the APRs facilitate curly fibril formation. In fact, a meta-analysis of previously reported curly fibril-forming proteins shows that their inter-APRs are significantly longer and more hydrophobic when compared to straight fibril-forming proteins, suggesting that they may cause strain in the amyloid state. Hence, inter-APRs driving curly fibril formation may not only apply to our model protein but rather constitute a more general mechanism.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid* / chemistry
  • Amyloidosis*
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Ovalbumin
  • Peptides / chemistry


  • Amyloid
  • Peptides
  • Ovalbumin