Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 2006 Aug 8;45(31):9496-508.

Conserved and cooperative assembly of membrane-bound alpha-helical states of islet amyloid polypeptide.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, Yale University, 260 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8114, USA.


The conversion of soluble protein into beta-sheet-rich amyloid fibers is the hallmark of a number of serious diseases. Precursors for many of these systems (e.g., Abeta from Alzheimer's disease) reside in close association with a biological membrane. Membrane bilayers are reported to accelerate the rate of amyloid assembly. Furthermore, membrane permeabilization by amyloidogenic peptides can lead to toxicity. Given the beta-sheet-rich nature of mature amyloid, it is seemingly paradoxical that many precursors are either intrinsically alpha-helical or transiently adopt an alpha-helical state upon association with membrane. In this work, we investigate these phenomena in islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). IAPP is a 37-residue peptide hormone which forms amyloid fibers in individuals with type II diabetes. Fiber formation by human IAPP (hIAPP) is markedly accelerated by lipid bilayers despite adopting an alpha-helical state on the membrane. We further show that IAPP partitions into monomeric and oligomeric helical assemblies. Importantly, it is this latter state which most strongly correlates to both membrane leakage and accelerated fiber formation. A sequence variant of IAPP from rodents (rIAPP) does not form fibers and is reputed not to permeabilize membranes. Here, we report that rIAPP is capable of permeabilizing membranes under conditions that permit rIAPP membrane binding. Sequence and spectroscopic comparisons of rIAPP and hIAPP enable us to propose a general mechanism for the helical acceleration of amyloid formation in vitro. As rIAPP cannot form amyloid fibers, our results show that fiber formation need not be directly coupled to toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center