Source:Task Quarterly, 18:245–254, 2014
Fibril formation of proteins and peptides is associated with a large group of major human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, prion disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, etc. Therefore, understanding the key factors that govern this process is of paramount importance. The fibrillogenesis of polypeptide chains depends on their intrinsic properties as well as on the external conditions. In this mini-review we discuss the relationship between fibril formation kinetics and the sequence, aromaticity, hydrophobicity, charge and population of the so called fibril-prone conformation in a monomer state. The higher the population, the faster is the fibril elongation and this dependence may be described by a single exponential function. This observation opens up a new way to understand the fibrillogenesis of bio-molecules at the monomer level. We will also discuss the influence of the environment with focus on the recently observed dual effect of crowders on the aggregation rates of polypeptide chains.