Annular oligomeric amyloid intermediates observed by in situ atomic force microscopy.
ABSTRACT Amyloidoses and related protein deposition diseases involve the transformation of normally soluble proteins into insoluble deposits, usually fibrillar in nature. Although it was originally assumed that the fibrils were the toxic species, this assumption has recently been called into question. Accumulating evidence in several systems suggests that oligomeric intermediates on the aggregation pathway may be toxic. In the present study we used in situ atomic force microscopy to monitor aggregation in aqueous solution in real time. The sample used was an amyloidogenic immunoglobulin light chain, involved in AL or light chain amyloidosis. The nature of the observed oligomeric intermediates was dependent on the conditions of incubation, especially pH and ionic strength. Several different aggregation intermediates with a variety of morphologies, including annular or torus-shaped species, were observed. The data indicate that protein aggregation can be very complex, involving a variety of different oligomeric intermediates whose population will be determined by the kinetic and thermodynamic competition between them.
Article: Formation of soluble amyloid oligomers and amyloid fibrils by the multifunctional protein vitronectin.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The multifunctional protein vitronectin is present within the deposits associated with Alzheimer disease (AD), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), atherosclerosis, systemic amyloidoses, and glomerulonephritis. The extent to which vitronectin contributes to amyloid formation within these plaques, which contain misfolded, amyloidogenic proteins, and the role of vitronectin in the pathophysiology of the aforementioned diseases is currently unknown. The investigation of vitronectin aggregation is significant since the formation of oligomeric and fibrillar structures are common features of amyloid proteins. We observed vitronectin immunoreactivity in senile plaques of AD brain, which exhibited overlap with the amyloid fibril-specific OC antibody, suggesting that vitronectin is deposited at sites of amyloid formation. Of particular interest is the growing body of evidence indicating that soluble nonfibrillar oligomers may be responsible for the development and progression of amyloid diseases. In this study we demonstrate that both plasma-purified and recombinant human vitronectin readily form spherical oligomers and typical amyloid fibrils. Vitronectin oligomers are toxic to cultured neuroblastoma and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, possibly via a membrane-dependent mechanism, as they cause leakage of synthetic vesicles. Oligomer toxicity was attenuated in RPE cells by the anti-oligomer A11 antibody. Vitronectin fibrils contain a C-terminal protease-resistant fragment, which may approximate the core region of residues essential to amyloid formation. These data reveal the propensity of vitronectin to behave as an amyloid protein and put forth the possibilities that accumulation of misfolded vitronectin may contribute to aggregate formation seen in age-related amyloid diseases.Molecular Neurodegeneration 11/2008; 3:16. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The growing interest in membrane interactions of amyloidogenic peptides and proteins emanates from the realization that lipids and membranes play important, potentially central, roles in the toxicity and pathological pathways of amyloid diseases. Expanding body of evidence indicates that lipid binding of amyloidogenic peptides and amyloid peptide association with cellular membranes is critical in the onset and progression of amyloid diseases. Advancing the understanding in this field goes hand in hand with application of varied biophysical and biological techniques designed to probe the characteristics and underlying mechanisms of membrane-peptide interactions. This review summarizes experimental approaches and technical aspects employed in recent years for investigating the interaction of amyloid peptides and fibrillar species with lipid bilayers, and the reciprocal contribution of membranes to fibrillation processes and amyloidogenesis.Current Protein and Peptide Science 08/2010; 11(5):372-84. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Misfolding and self-assembly of Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides into amyloid fibrils is pathologically linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Polymorphic Aβ structures derived from monomers to intermediate oligomers, protofilaments, and mature fibrils have been often observed in solution. Some aggregates are on-pathway species to amyloid fibrils, while the others are off-pathway species that do not evolve into amyloid fibrils. Both on-pathway and off-pathway species could be biologically relevant species. But, the lack of atomic-level structural information for these Aβ species leads to the difficulty in the understanding of their biological roles in amyloid toxicity and amyloid formation. Here, we model a series of molecular structures of Aβ globulomers assembled by monomer and dimer building blocks using our peptide-packing program and explicit-solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Structural and energetic analysis shows that although Aβ globulomers could adopt different energetically favorable but structurally heterogeneous conformations in a rugged energy landscape, they are still preferentially organized by dynamic dimeric subunits with a hydrophobic core formed by the C-terminal residues independence of initial peptide packing and organization. Such structural organizations offer high structural stability by maximizing peptide-peptide association and optimizing peptide-water solvation. Moreover, curved surface, compact size, and less populated β-structure in Aβ globulomers make them difficult to convert into other high-order Aβ aggregates and fibrils with dominant β-structure, suggesting that they are likely to be off-pathway species to amyloid fibrils. These Aβ globulomers are compatible with experimental data in overall size, subunit organization, and molecular weight from AFM images and H/D amide exchange NMR. Our computationally modeled Aβ globulomers provide useful insights into structure, dynamics, and polymorphic nature of Aβ globulomers which are completely different from Aβ fibrils, suggesting that these globulomers are likely off-pathway species and explaining the independence of the aggregation kinetics between Aβ globulomers and fibrils.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(6):e20575. · 4.09 Impact Factor