Structural characterization of a soluble amyloid beta-peptide oligomer.
ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is linked to the presence of amyloid beta-peptides that can form insoluble fibrils or soluble oligomeric assemblies. Soluble forms are present in the brains and tissues of Alzheimer's patients, and their presence correlates with disease progression. Long-lived soluble forms can be generated in vitro by using small amounts of aliphatic hydrocarbon chains of detergents or fatty acids in preparations of amyloid beta-peptides. Using NMR, we have characterized soluble oligomers of Abeta preglobulomer and globulomer that are stable and alter synaptic activity. The NMR data indicate that these soluble forms have a mixed parallel and antiparallel beta-sheet structure that is different from fibrils which contain only parallel beta-sheets. Using the structural data, we engineered a disulfide bond into the soluble Abeta globulomer to give a "new" soluble antigen that is stable, homogeneous, and binds with the same affinity to selective antibodies as the parent wt globulomer.
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ABSTRACT: Amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregates are the main constituent of senile plaques, the histological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Aβ molecules form β-sheet containing structures that assemble into a variety of polymorphic oligomers, protofibers, and fibers that exhibit a range of lifetimes and cellular toxicities. This polymorphic nature of Aβ has frustrated its biophysical characterization, its structural determination, and our understanding of its pathological mechanism. To elucidate Aβ polymorphism in atomic detail, we determined eight new microcrystal structures of fiber-forming segments of Aβ. These structures, all of short, self-complementing pairs of β-sheets termed steric zippers, reveal a variety of modes of self-association of Aβ. Combining these atomic structures with previous NMR studies allows us to propose several fiber models, offering molecular models for some of the repertoire of polydisperse structures accessible to Aβ. These structures and molecular models contribute fundamental information for understanding Aβ polymorphic nature and pathogenesis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(41):16938-43. · 9.68 Impact Factor
Article: Structure-based design of conformation- and sequence-specific antibodies against amyloid β.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Conformation-specific antibodies that recognize aggregated proteins associated with several conformational disorders (e.g., Parkinson and prion diseases) are invaluable for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. However, no systematic strategy exists for generating conformation-specific antibodies that target linear sequence epitopes within misfolded proteins. Here we report a strategy for designing conformation- and sequence-specific antibodies against misfolded proteins that is inspired by the molecular interactions governing protein aggregation. We find that grafting small amyloidogenic peptides (6-10 residues) from the Aβ42 peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease into the complementarity determining regions of a domain (V(H)) antibody generates antibody variants that recognize Aβ soluble oligomers and amyloid fibrils with nanomolar affinity. We refer to these antibodies as gammabodies for grafted amyloid-motif antibodies. Gammabodies displaying the central amyloidogenic Aβ motif (18VFFA21) are reactive with Aβ fibrils, whereas those displaying the amyloidogenic C terminus (34LMVGGVVIA42) are reactive with Aβ fibrils and oligomers (and weakly reactive with Aβ monomers). Importantly, we find that the grafted motifs target the corresponding peptide segments within misfolded Aβ conformers. Aβ gammabodies fail to cross-react with other amyloidogenic proteins and scrambling their grafted sequences eliminates antibody reactivity. Finally, gammabodies that recognize Aβ soluble oligomers and fibrils also neutralize the toxicity of each Aβ conformer. We expect that our antibody design strategy is not limited to Aβ and can be used to readily generate gammabodies against other toxic misfolded proteins.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2011; 109(1):84-9. · 9.68 Impact Factor