Side chain interactions determine the amyloid organization: A single layer β-sheet molecular structure of the calcitonin peptide segment 15-19

David Zanuy, Nurit Haspel, Hui Hsu Tsai, Buyong Ma, Kannan Gunasekaran, Haim J. Wolfson, Ruth Nussinov

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we present a detailed atomic model for a protofilament, the most basic organization level, of the amyloid fibre formed by the peptide DFNKF. This pentapeptide is a segment derived from the human calcitonin, a natural amyloidogenic protein. Our model, which represents the outcome of extensive explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of different strand/sheet organizations, is a single β-sheet filament largely without a hydrophobic core. Nevertheless, this structure is capable of reproducing the main features of the characteristic amyloid fibril organization and provides clues to the molecular basis of its experimental aggregation behaviour. Our results show that the side chains' chemical diversity induces the formation of a complex network of interactions that finally determine the microscopic arrangement of the strands at the protofilament level. This network of interactions, consisting of both side chain-side chain and backbone-side chain interactions, confers on the final single β-sheet arrangement an unexpected stability, both by enhancing the association of related chemical groups and, at the same time, by shielding the hydrophobic segments from the polar solvent. The chemical physical characterization of this protofilament provides hints to the possible thermodynamical basis of the supra molecular organization that allows the formation of the filaments by lateral association of the preformed protofibrils. Its regular, highly polarized structure shows how other protofilaments can assemble. In terms of structural biology, our results clearly indicate that an amyloid organization implies a degree of complexity far beyond a simple nonspecific association of peptide strands via amide hydrogen bonds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number005
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Biology
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2004

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