Phenylalanine aggregates into toxic fibrils

The movie shows the assembly of the free amino acid phenylalanine into a fibril-like oligomer. Phenylalanine is displayed in a space-filling representation with coloring by atom type. The oxygen and nitrogen atoms (red and blue) of the backbone form the spine of the oligomer while the planar aromatic side chains decorate the outside. Stacking of the phenyl rings often occurs in an approximate face-to-face manner. These results are obtained at high pH values (monoanionic species) and involve the incorporation of mobile cations (display omitted).