Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 20;279(8):6364-70. Epub 2003 Oct 31.

Modulating calcitonin fibrillogenesis: an antiparallel alpha-helical dimer inhibits fibrillation of salmon calcitonin.

Author information

Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Comprensorio Olivetti, Edificio 70, Via Campi Flegrei 34, I-80078 Pozzuoli (Napoli), Italy.


We have investigated the prefibrillar state of salmon (s) and human (h) calcitonin (CT). Size exclusion chromatography at pH 3.3 and 7.4 indicates that sCT is present in solution as a dimer, whereas hCT elutes as a monomer at pH 3.3 and as monomer-dimer at pH 7.4. Guanidine hydrochloride unfolding experiments show that dimerization is stabilized by hydrophobic interactions. We investigated the dimeric structure by multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and calculations by using an sCT mutant (LAsCT) in which Pro23 and Arg24 were substituted for Leu23 and Ala24. As indicated by the Leu9-Tyr27 and Leu12-Leu19 contacts, the mutated hormone forms a head-to-tail dimer whose basic unit is an alpha-helix in the region Leu12-Tyr22. The solution behavior of LAsCT is identical to that of sCT, so the dimeric structure can safely be extended to sCT: we believe that such a structure inhibits fibril maturation in sCT. No stable dimer was observed for hCT, which we attributed to the absence of a defined helical structure. However, we suggest that intermolecular collisions of short ordered regions (for example, a sequence of turns) in hCT favors intermolecular contacts, and specific orientation can be obtained through hydrogen bond formation involving Tyr12, Phe16, and Phe19, with the aromatic ring acting as an acceptor. Taken together, our results indicate that hCT fibrillation can be reduced by favoring a helical dimer, obtainable by replacing the three aromatic amino acids with leucines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center