(380a) Simulations of Protein Aggregation-- Focus On A-Beta

The pathological hallmark of more than twenty neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and the prion diseases, is the presence within the brain of plaques containing ordered protein aggregates called fibrils. It is not yet known why these structures form in some individuals and not in others, or whether the plaques are toxic or Nature's way of sequestering toxic species. We will describe our efforts to learn how and why proteins assemble into fibrils with particular focus on A-beta, the protein that is associated with Alzheimer's disease.