Intrinsic determinants of neurotoxic aggregate formation by the amyloid beta peptide.

TitleIntrinsic determinants of neurotoxic aggregate formation by the amyloid beta peptide.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBrorsson AC, Bolognesi B, Tartaglia GG, Shammas SL, Favrin G, Watson I, Lomas DA, Chiti F, Vendruscolo M, Dobson CM, Crowther DC, Luheshi LM
JournalBiophys. J.
Volume98
Pagination1677–1684
Date PublishedApr
Abstract

The extent to which proteins aggregate into distinct structures ranging from prefibrillar oligomers to amyloid fibrils is key to the pathogenesis of many age-related degenerative diseases. We describe here for the Alzheimer's disease-related amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) an investigation of the sequence-based determinants of the balance between the formation of prefibrillar aggregates and amyloid fibrils. We show that by introducing single-point mutations, it is possible to convert the normally harmless Abeta40 peptide into a pathogenic species by increasing its relative propensity to form prefibrillar but not fibrillar aggregates, and, conversely, to abolish the pathogenicity of the highly neurotoxic E22G Abeta42 peptide by reducing its relative propensity to form prefibrillar species rather than mature fibrillar ones. This observation can be rationalized by the demonstration that whereas regions of the sequence of high aggregation propensity dominate the overall tendency to aggregate, regions with low intrinsic aggregation propensities exert significant control over the balance of the prefibrillar and fibrillar species formed, and therefore play a major role in determining the neurotoxicity of the Abeta peptide.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.4320
DOI10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.4320