Peptide misfolding and aberrant assembly in membranous micro-environments have been associated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases. The biomolecular mechanisms and biophysical implications of these amyloid membrane interactions have been under extensive research and can assist in understanding disease pathogenesis and potential development of rational therapeutics. But, the complex nature and diversity of biomolecular interactions, structural transitions, and dependence on local environmental conditions have made accurate microscopic characterization challenging. In this review, using cases of Alzheimer's disease (amyloid-beta peptide), Parkinson's disease (alpha-synuclein peptide) and Huntington's disease (huntingtin protein), we illustrate existing challenges in experimental investigations and summarize recent relevant numerical simulation studies into amyloidogenic peptide–membrane interactions. In addition we project directions for future in silico studies and discuss shortcomings of current computational approaches.
The Molecular Basis for Life in Extreme Environments
Sampling and genomic efforts over the past decade have revealed an enormous quantity and diversity of life in Earth's extreme environments. This new knowledge of life on Earth poses the challenge of understandingits molecular basis in such inhospitable conditions, given that such conditions lead to loss of structure and of function in biomolecules from mesophiles. In this review, we discuss the physicochemical properties of extreme environments. We present the state of recent progress in extreme environmental genomics. We then present an overview of our current understanding of the biomolecular adaptation to extreme conditions. As our current and future understanding of biomolecular structure–function relationships in extremophiles requires methodologies adapted to extremes of pressure, temperature, and chemical composition, advances in instrumentation for probing biophysical properties under extreme conditions are presented. Finally, we briefly discuss possible future directions in extreme biophysics.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Annual Review of Biophysics
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 343 to 372
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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