Studies on the first described Alzheimer's disease amyloid beta mutant, the Dutch variant.
ABSTRACT Amyloid protein deposited in cerebral vessel walls and diffuse plaques of patients with hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis, Dutch type (HCHWA-D), is similar to the 40-42 residues amyloid beta (Abeta) in vessel walls and senile plaques in brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), Down's syndrome, and familial and sporadic cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). In 1990 we sequenced the amyloid beta-protein precursor (AbetaPP) gene from HCHWA-D patients revealing a single mutation that results in an amino acid substitution, Abeta E22Q. Subsequent identification of additional mutations in the AbetaPP gene in familial AD (FAD) pedigrees revealed that whereas substitutions in the middle of Abeta, residues Abeta21-23, are predominantly vasculotropic, those found amino- or carboxyl-terminal to the Abeta sequence within AbetaPP enhance amyloid parenchymal plaque deposition. Studies of transfected cells showed that substitutions amino- or carboxyl-terminal to Abeta lead to either greater Abeta production or to enhanced secretion of the more hydrophobic thus more fibrillogenic Abeta1-42. Substitutions in the center of Abeta facilitate rapid aggregation and fibrillization, slower clearance across the blood-brain barrier and perivascular drainage to the systemic circulation, possibly higher resistance to proteolysis, and enhanced toxicity towards endothelial and smooth muscle cells. However, most AD patients have no genetic defects in AbetaPP, indicating that other factors may alter Abeta production, conformation, and/or clearance initiating the disease process.
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ABSTRACT: Aortic medial amyloid (AMA) is the most common localized human amyloid, occurring in virtually all of the Caucasian population over the age of 50. The main protein component of AMA, medin, readily assembles into amyloid-like fibrils in vitro. Despite the prevalence of AMA, little is known about the self-assembly mechanism of medin or the molecular architecture of the fibrils. The amino acid sequence of medin is strikingly similar to the sequence of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) amyloid-beta (Aβ) polypeptides around the structural turn region of Aβ where mutations associated with familial, early onset AD, have been identified. D25 and K30 of medin align with residues D23 and K28 of Aβ that are known to form a stabilizing salt bridge in some fibril morphologies. Here we show that substituting D25 of medin with asparagine (D25N) impedes assembly into fibrils and stabilizes non-cytotoxic oligomers. Wild-type medin, by contrast, aggregates into β-sheet rich amyloid-like fibrils within 50 h. A structural analysis of wild-type fibrils by solid-state NMR suggests a molecular repeat unit comprising at least two extended β-strands, separated by a turn stabilized by a D25-K30 salt-bridge. We propose that D25 drives the assembly of medin by stabilizing the fibrillar conformation of the peptide, and is thus reminiscent of the influence of D23 on the aggregation of Aβ. Pharmacological comparisons of wild-type medin and D25N will help to ascertain the pathological significance of this poorly under-stood protein. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2015; 290(12). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.602177 · 4.60 Impact Factor