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Biochemistry. 2000 Mar 28;39(12):3491-9.

Two-dimensional structure of beta-amyloid(10-35) fibrils.

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Department of Pathology and Department of Chemistry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptides are the main protein component of the pathognomonic plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. These heterogeneous peptides adopt a highly organized fibril structure both in vivo and in vitro. Here we use solid-state NMR on stable, homogeneous fibrils of Abeta(10-35). Specific interpeptide distance constraints are determined with dipolar recoupling NMR on fibrils prepared from a series of singly labeled peptides containing (13)C-carbonyl-enriched amino acids, and skipping no more that three residues in the sequence. From these studies, we demonstrate that the peptide adopts the structure of an extended parallel beta-sheet in-register at pH 7.4. Analysis of DRAWS data indicates interstrand distances of 5.3 +/- 0.3 A (mean +/- standard deviation) throughout the entire length of the peptide, which is compatible only with a parallel beta-strand in-register. Intrastrand NMR constraints, obtained from peptides containing labels at two adjacent amino acids, confirm the secondary structural findings obtained using DRAWS. Using peptides with (13)C incorporated at the carbonyl position of adjacent amino acids, structural transitions from alpha-helix to beta-sheet were observed at residues 19 and 20, but using similar techniques, no evidence for a turn could be found in the putative turn region comprising residues 25-29. Implications of this extended parallel organization for Abeta(10-35) for overall fibril formation, stability, and morphology based upon specific amino acid contacts are discussed.

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