We report all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of annular beta-amyloid (17-42) structures, single- and double-layered, in solution. We assess the structural stability and association force of Abeta annular oligomers associated through different interfaces, with a mutated sequence (M35A), and with the oxidation state (M35O). Simulation results show that single-layered annular models display inherent structural instability: one is broken down into linear-like oligomers, and the other collapses. On the other hand, a double-layered annular structure where the two layers interact through their C-termini to form an NC-CN interface (where N and C are the N and C termini, respectively) exhibits high structural stability over the simulation time due to strong hydrophobic interactions and geometrical constraints induced by the closed circular shape. The observed dimensions and molecular weight of the oligomers from atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments are found to correspond well to our stable double-layered model with the NC-CN interface. Comparison with K3 annular structures derived from the beta 2-microglobulin suggests that the driving force for amyloid formation is sequence specific, strongly dependent on side-chain packing arrangements, structural morphologies, sequence composition, and residue positions. Combined with our previous simulations of linear-like Abeta, K3 peptide, and sup35-derived GNNQQNY peptide, the annular structures provide useful insight into oligomeric structures and driving forces that are critical in amyloid fibril formation.
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