[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Soluble oligomers of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) are emerging as the primary neurotoxic species in Alzheimer disease, however, whether the membrane is among their direct targets that mediate the downstream adverse effects remains elusive. Herein, we show that multiple soluble oligomeric Aβ preparations, including Aβ-derived diffusible ligand, protofibril, and zinc-induced Aβ oligomer, exhibit much weaker capability to insert into the membrane than Aβ monomer. Aβ monomers prefer incorporating into membrane rather than oligomerizing in solution, and such preference can be reversed by the aggregation-boosting factor, zinc ion. Further analyses indicate that the membrane-embedded oligomers of Aβ are derived from rapid assembly of inserted monomers but not due to the insertion of soluble Aβ oligomers. By comparing the behavior of a panel of Aβ truncation variants, we demonstrate that the intra- and extra-membrane oligomerization are mutually exclusive processes that proceed through distinct motif interplay, both of which require the action of amino acids 37-40/42 to overcome the auto-inhibitory interaction between amino acids 29-36 and the N-terminal portion albeit via different mechanisms. These results indicate that intra- and extra-membrane oligomerization of Aβ are competing processes and emphasize a critical regulation of membrane on the behavior of Aβ monomer and soluble oligomers, which may determine distinct neurotoxic mechanisms.
Preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a heterotrimeric complex composed of α catalytic subunit, β scaffolding subunit, and γ regulatory subunit with critical roles in maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. However, the molecular architecture of the intact complex and the allostery associated with the adenosine binding-induced regulation of kinase activity remain unclear. Here, we determine the three-dimensional reconstruction and subunit organization of the full-length rat AMPK (α1β1γ1) through single-particle electron-microscopy. By comparing the structures of AMPK in ATP- and AMP-bound states, we are able to visualize the sequential conformational changes underlying kinase activation that transmits from the adenosine binding sites in the γ subunit to the kinase domain of the α subunit. These results not only make substantial revision to the current model of AMPK assembly, but also highlight a central role of the linker sequence of the α subunit in mediating the allostery of AMPK.