CHAPTER 7: Amyloid-Like Peptide Aggregates
Published:18 Nov 2020
Self-assembly of proteins and peptides into the amyloid fold is a widespread phenomenon in the natural world. The structural hallmark of self-assembly into amyloid fibrillar assemblies is the cross-beta motif, which conveys distinct morphological and mechanical properties. The amyloid fibril formation has contrasting results depending on the organism, in the sense that it can bestow an organism with the advantages of mechanical strength and improved functionality or, on the contrary, could give rise to pathological states. In this chapter we review the existing information on amyloid-like peptide aggregates, which could either be derived from protein sequences, but also could be rationally or de novo designed in order to self-assemble into amyloid fibrils under physiological conditions. Moreover, the development of self-assembled fibrillar biomaterials that are tailored for the desired properties towards applications in biomedical or environmental areas is extensively analyzed. We also review computational studies predicting the amyloid propensity of the natural amino acid sequences and the structure of amyloids, as well as designing novel functional amyloid materials.