Design of peptides that form amyloid-like fibrils capturing amyloid beta1-42 peptides

Junichi Sato, Tsuyoshi Takahashi, Hideo Oshima, Sachiko Matsumura, Hisakazu Mihara
Chemistry: a European Journal 2007, 13 (27): 7745-52
Amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) plays a critical role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The monomeric state of Abeta can self-assemble into oligomers, protofibrils, and amyloid fibrils. Since the fibrils and soluble oligomers are believed to be responsible for AD, the construction of molecules capable of capturing these species could prove valuable as a means of detecting these potentially toxic species and of providing information pertinent for designing drugs effective against AD. To this aim, we have designed short peptides with various hydrophobicities based on the sequence of Abeta14-23, which is a critical region for amyloid fibril formation. The binding of the designed peptides to Abeta and the amplification of the formation of peptide amyloid-like fibrils coassembled with Abeta are elucidated. A fluorescence assay utilizing thioflavin T, known to bind specifically to amyloid fibrils, revealed that two designed peptides (LF and VF, with the leucine and valine residues, respectively, in the hydrophobic core region) could form amyloid-like fibrils effectively by using mature Abeta1-42 fibrils as nuclei. Peptide LF also coassembled with soluble Abeta oligomers into peptide fibrils. Various analyses, including immunostaining with gold nanoparticles, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and size-exclusion chromatography, confirmed that the LF and VF peptides formed amyloid-like fibrils by capturing and incorporating Abeta1-42 aggregates into their peptide fibrils. In this system, small amounts of mature Abeta1-42 fibrils or soluble oligomers could be transformed into peptide fibrils and detected by amplifying the amyloid-like fibrils with the designed peptides.

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