Single-molecule imaging of individual amyloid protein aggregates in human biofluids
Authors listMathew H Horrocks Steven F Lee Sonia Gandhi Nadia K Magdalinou Serene W Chen Mike Devine Laura Tosatto Magnus Kjaergaard Joseph S Beckwith Henrik Zetterberg Marija Iljina Nunilo Cremades Christopher M Dobson Nicholas W Wood David Klenerman
The misfolding and aggregation of proteins into amyloid fibrils characterizes many neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. We report here a method, termed SAVE (single aggregate visualization by enhancement) imaging, for the ultrasensitive detection of individual amyloid fibrils and oligomers using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We demonstrate that this method is able to detect the presence of amyloid aggregates of α-synuclein, tau, and amyloid-β. In addition, we show that aggregates can also be identified in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Significantly, we see a twofold increase in the average aggregate concentration in CSF from Parkinson's disease patients compared to age-matched controls. Taken together, we conclude that this method provides an opportunity to characterize the structural nature of amyloid aggregates in a key biofluid, and therefore has the potential to study disease progression in both animal models and humans to enhance our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders.