Dongmei Hu

University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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Publications (5)18.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Light chain amyloidoses arise from the overproduction and abnormal deposition of the immunoglobulin light chain in various organs. LEN is the variable domain of an immunoglobulin light chain originally isolated from the urine of a patient suffering from multiple myeloma, with no sign of renal dysfunction or amyloidosis. LEN was shown to form fibrils in vitro under mildly destabilizing conditions. In this work, we investigated the changes induced by methionine oxidation in the structural properties, conformational stability, and aggregation behavior of immunoglobulin light chain domain LEN. We established that LEN was well-protected from oxidation in its native state, but successful oxidation was achieved in the presence of 4 M GuHCl. Oxidation induced noticeable structural changes in LEN and destabilized this protein. The methionine-oxidized LEN preferred to form amorphous aggregates instead of fibrils. The results indicated that the LEN oxidation may play an important role in amorphous deposition of the protein, but not in its fibrillation.
    Biochemistry 08/2008; 47(33):8665-77. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elucidating the details of the assembly of amyloid fibrils is a key step to understanding the mechanism of amyloid deposition diseases including Parkinson's disease. Although several models have been proposed, based on analyses of polypeptides and short peptides, a detailed understanding of the structure and mechanism of alpha-synuclein fibrillation remains elusive. In this study, we used trypsin and endoproteinase GluC to digest intact alpha-synuclein fibrils and to analyze the detailed morphology of the resultant fibrils/remnants. We also created three mutants of alpha-synuclein, in which the N-terminal and C-terminal regions were removed, both individually and in combination, and investigated the detailed morphology of the fibrils from these mutants. Our results indicate that the assembly of mature alpha-synuclein fibrils is hierarchical: protofilaments --> protofibrils --> mature fibrils. There is a core region of approximately 70 amino acids, from residues approximately 32 to 102, which comprises the beta-rich core of the protofilaments and fibrils. In contrast, the two terminal regions show no evidence of participating in the assembly of the protofilament core but play a key role in the interactions between the protofilaments, which is necessary for the fibril maturation.
    Biochemistry 11/2007; 46(46):13322-30. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin light chain deposition diseases involve various types of extracellular deposition of light chain variable domains, including amyloid fibrils and amorphous deposits. The decreased thermodynamic stability of the light chain is believed to be the major factor leading to fibrillation. However, the differences in the nature of the deposits among the light chain deposition diseases raise the question of whether the mechanisms leading to fibrillar or amorphous aggregation is different. In this study, we generated two partially folded intermediates of the light chain variable domain SMA in the presence of guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl) and characterized their conformations. The more unfolded intermediate formed fibrils most rapidly, while the more native-like intermediate predominantly led to amorphous deposits. The results also show that the monomeric, rather than the dimeric state, was critical for fibrillation. The data also indicate that fibril elongation involves addition of a partially unfolded intermediate, rather than the native state. We postulate that a more highly unfolded intermediate is more suited to undergo the topological rearrangements necessary to form amyloid fibrils than a more structured one and that this also correlates with increased destabilization. In the case of light chain aggregation, it appears that more native-like intermediate conformations are more prone to form amorphous deposits.
    Biochemistry 04/2007; 46(11):3521-31. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several observations have implicated oxidative stress and aggregation of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease. alpha-Synuclein has been shown to have affinity for unsaturated fatty acids and membranes enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are especially sensitive to oxidation under conditions of oxidative stress. One of the most important products of lipid oxidation is 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease. Consequently, we investigated the effects of the interaction of HNE with alpha-synuclein. Incubation of HNE with alpha-synuclein at pH 7.4 and 37 degrees C resulted in covalent modification of the protein, with up to six HNE molecules incorporated as Michael addition products. Fourier transform infrared and CD spectra indicated that HNE modification of alpha-synuclein resulted in a major conformational change involving increased beta-sheet. HNE modification of alpha-synuclein led to inhibition of fibrillation in an HNE concentration-dependent manner. This inhibition of fibrillation was shown to be due to the formation of soluble oligomers based on size exclusion high pressure liquid chromatography and atomic force microscope data. Small angle x-ray scattering analysis indicated that the HNE-induced oligomers were compact and tightly packed. Treatment with guanidinium chloride demonstrated that the HNE-induced oligomers were very stable with an extremely slow rate of dissociation. Addition of 5 mum HNE-modified oligomers to primary mesencephalic cultures caused marked neurotoxicity because the integrity of dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons was reduced by 95 and 85%, respectively. Our observations indicate that HNE modification of alpha-synuclein prevents fibrillation but may result in toxic oligomers, which could therefore contribute to the demise of neurons subjected to oxidative damage.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2007; 282(8):5862-70. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-synuclein, a presynaptic protein associated with Parkinson's disease, is found as both soluble cytosolic and membrane-bound forms. Although the function of alpha-synuclein is unknown, several observations suggest that its association with membranes is important. In the present study we investigated the effect of alpha-synuclein on lipid oxidation in membranes containing phospholipids with unsaturated fatty acids. The kinetics of lipid oxidation were monitored by the change in fluorescence intensity of the dye C11-BODIPY. We find that monomeric alpha-synuclein efficiently prevented lipid oxidation, whereas fibrillar alpha-synuclein had no such effect. Our data suggest that the prevention of unsaturated lipid oxidation by alpha-synuclein requires that it bind to the lipid membrane. The antioxidant function of alpha-synuclein is attributed to its facile oxidation via the formation of methionine sulfoxide, as shown by mass spectrometry. These findings suggest that the inhibition of lipid oxidation by alpha-synuclein may be a physiological function of the protein.
    Biochemistry 08/2006; 45(26):8135-42. · 3.38 Impact Factor