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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jul 23;285(30):23186-97. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.086496. Epub 2010 May 7.

Effects of the English (H6R) and Tottori (D7N) familial Alzheimer disease mutations on amyloid beta-protein assembly and toxicity.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Abstract

Mutations in the amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) precursor gene cause autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease in a number of kindreds. In two such kindreds, the English and the Tottori, the mutations produce amyloid beta-proteins containing amino acid substitutions, H6R and D7N, respectively, at the peptide N terminus. To elucidate the structural and biological effects of the mutations, we began by examining monomer conformational dynamics and oligomerization. Relative to their wild type homologues, and in both the Abeta40 and Abeta42 systems, the English and Tottori substitutions accelerated the kinetics of secondary structure change from statistical coil --> alpha/beta --> beta and produced oligomer size distributions skewed to higher order. This skewing was reflected in increases in average oligomer size, as measured using electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Stabilization of peptide oligomers using in situ chemical cross-linking allowed detailed study of their properties. Each substitution produced an oligomer that displayed substantial beta-strand (H6R) or alpha/beta (D7N) structure, in contrast to the predominately statistical coil structure of wild type Abeta oligomers. Mutant oligomers functioned as fibril seeds, and with efficiencies significantly higher than those of their wild type homologues. Importantly, the mutant forms of both native and chemically stabilized oligomers were significantly more toxic in assays of cell physiology and death. The results show that the English and Tottori mutations alter Abeta assembly at its earliest stages, monomer folding and oligomerization, and produce oligomers that are more toxic to cultured neuronal cells than are wild type oligomers.

PMID:
20452980
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2906312
Free PMC Article

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