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: Self association of the amyloid-β (Aβ42) peptide into oligomers, high molecular weight forms, fibrils and ultimately neuritic plaques, has been correlated with progressive cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. Thus, insights into the drivers of the aggregation pathway have the capacity to significantly contribute to our understanding of disease mechanism. Functional assays and a three-dimensional crystal structure of the P3 amyloidogenic region 18-41 of Aβ were used to identify residues important in self-association and to design novel non-aggregating variants of the peptide. Biophysical studies (gel filtration, SDS-PAGE, dynamic light scattering, thioflavin T assay, and electron microscopy) demonstrate that in contrast to wild type Aβ these targeted mutations lose the ability to self-associate. Loss of aggregation also correlates with reduced neuronal toxicity. Our results highlight residues and regions of the Aβ peptide important for future targeting agents aimed at the amelioration of Alzheimer's disease.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) to form fibrils and plaques is strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although it is well established that this process generates neurotoxicity, it is also heterogeneous with a variety of species being formed during the conversion process. This heterogeneity makes it difficult to detect and characterize each of the aggregates formed, which precludes establishing the specific features responsible for the neurotoxicity observed. Here we use pulse-labeling hydrogen-deuterium exchange experiments analyzed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PL-HDX-ESI-MS) to distinguish three ensembles populated during the aggregation of the 40 and 42 residue forms of the Aβ peptide, Aβ40 and Aβ42, on the basis of differences in their persistent structure. Noticeably, two of them are more abundant at the beginning and at the end of the lag phase and are therefore not detectable by conventional assays such as Thioflavin T (ThT). The ensembles populated at different stages of the aggregation process have a surprisingly consistent average degree of exchange, indicating that there are definite structural transitions between the different stages of aggregation. To determine whether an ensemble of species with a given hydrogen exchange pattern correlates with neurotoxicity, we combined PL-HDX-ESI-MS experiments with parallel measurements of the neurotoxicity of the samples under study. The results of this dual approach show that the maximum toxicity correlates with the ensemble comprising HDX protected oligomers, indicating that development of persistent structure within Aβ oligomers is a determinant of neurotoxicity.ACS Chemical Biology 09/2014; · 5.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the detailed mechanism by which proteins such as human αB- crystallin and human lysozyme inhibit amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide aggregation is crucial for designing treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Thus, unconstrained, atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent have been performed to characterize the Aβ17-42 assembly in presence of the αB-crystallin core domain and of lysozyme. Simulations reveal that both inhibitor proteins compete with inter-peptide interaction by binding to the peptides during the early stage of aggregation, which is consistent with their inhibitory action reported in experiments. However, the Aβ binding dynamics appear different for each inhibitor. The binding between crystallin and the peptide monomer, dominated by electrostatics, is relatively weak and transient due to the heterogeneous amino acid distribution of the inhibitor surface. The crystallin-bound Aβ oligomers are relatively long-lived, as they form more extensive contact surface with the inhibitor protein. In contrast, a high local density of arginines from lysozyme allows strong binding with Aβ peptide monomers, resulting in stable complexes. Our findings not only illustrate, in atomic detail, how the amyloid inhibitory mechanism of human αB-crystallin, a natural chaperone, is different from that of human lysozyme, but also may aid de novo design of amyloid inhibitors.PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e113041. · 3.53 Impact Factor