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Computational and experimental studies on β-sheet breakers targeting Aβ1-40 fibrils.

The Journal of biological chemistry (2014-03-04)
Velia Minicozzi, Roberta Chiaraluce, Valerio Consalvi, Cesare Giordano, Claudia Narcisi, Pasqualina Punzi, Giancarlo C Rossi, Silvia Morante
ABSTRACT

In this work we present and compare the results of extensive molecular dynamics simulations of model systems comprising an Aβ1-40 peptide in water in interaction with short peptides (β-sheet breakers) mimicking the 17-21 region of the Aβ1-40 sequence. Various systems differing in the customized β-sheet breaker structure have been studied. Specifically we have considered three kinds of β-sheet breakers, namely Ac-LPFFD-NH2 and two variants thereof, one obtained by substituting the acetyl group with the sulfonic amino acid taurine (Tau-LPFFD-NH2) and a second novel one in which the aspartic acid is substituted by an asparagine (Ac-LPFFN-NH2). Thioflavin T fluorescence, circular dichroism, and mass spectrometry experiments have been performed indicating that β-sheet breakers are able to inhibit in vitro fibril formation and prevent the β sheet folding of portions of the Aβ1-40 peptide. We show that molecular dynamics simulations and far UV circular dichroism provide consistent evidence that the new Ac-LPFFN-NH2 β-sheet breaker is more effective than the other two in stabilizing the native α-helix structure of Aβ1-40. In agreement with these results thioflavin T fluorescence experiments confirm the higher efficiency in inhibiting Aβ1-40 aggregation. Furthermore, mass spectrometry data and molecular dynamics simulations consistently identified the 17-21 Aβ1-40 portion as the location of the interaction region between peptide and the Ac-LPFFN-NH2 β-sheet breaker.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
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