• F Baftizadeh, F Pietrucci, X Biarnes, A Laio,
    Nucleation Process of a Fibril Precursor in the C-Terminal Segment of Amyloid-beta
    PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 110, 168103 (2013)
    By extended atomistic simulations in explicit solvent and bias-exchange metadynamics, we study the aggregation process of 18 chains of the C-terminal segment of amyloid-beta, an intrinsically disordered protein involved in Alzheimer's disease and prone to form fibrils. Starting from a disordered aggregate, we are able to observe the formation of an ordered nucleus rich in beta sheets. The rate limiting step in the nucleation pathway involves crossing a barrier of approximately 40 kcal/mol and is associated with the formation of a very specific interdigitation of the side chains belonging to different sheets. This structural pattern is different from the one observed experimentally in a microcrystal of the same system, indicating that the structure of a "nascent'' fibril may differ from the one of an "extended'' fibril. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.168103 Pietrucci, Fabio/C-2326-2009