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Title: Characterising amyloid assembly using ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry
Author: Woods, Lucy Ann
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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From small molecules to macromolecules, mass spectrometry has evolved significantly over the past decade, progressing from a tool to identify chemical elements to a powerful technique able to elucidate structural information for large protein complexes. With the interfacing of ion mobility spectrometry to mass spectrometry (IMS-MS), mass spectrometric analyses now occupy an extra dimension, providing unrivalled separation and structural characterisation of lowly-populated species in heterogeneous mixtures. One biological system that has benefitted enormously from such advances is the study of in vitro amyloid formation. The ability of amyloidogenic proteins to assemble into insoluble fibrils is associated with over twenty-five different disease states. Beta-2 microglobulin (β2m) is one such protein able to assemble into amyloid fibrils in vitro, although assembly can only be initiated upon destabilisation of the native structure. Identifying which states initiate fibril formation is challenging. as few techniques are able to separate and characterise such transient species. In addition, recent research has identified a number of small molecule inhibitors of fibrillation and understanding their mechanism of action is a topic of current interest. Here, the power of IMS-MS has been harnessed to achieve the separation and characterisation of monomeric and oligomeric precursors of amyloid fibril formation of the protein β2m. Analysis of oligomeric species populated during fibril formation, in addition to the effects of small molecule inhibitors on oligomer population, has led to the identification of oligomeric species on-pathway to fibril formation. Further investigation into fibrils of different morphologies has also been conducted using IMS and limited proteolysis, Differences in oligomeric populations have been revealed, together with differences in fibril structure. Each of these results highlights how MS can be used to give insights into the mechanism of amyloid formation and highlight the potentials of this approach for screening for potential inhibitors of any assembly reaction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available