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Biochemistry. 2009 Nov 10;48(44):10568-76. doi: 10.1021/bi900608m.

Annexin A5 directly interacts with amyloidogenic proteins and reduces their toxicity.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.


Protein misfolding is a central mechanism for the development of neurodegenerative diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The accumulation of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein inclusions in the Lewy bodies of Parkinson's disease is thought to play a key role in pathogenesis and disease progression. Similarly, the misfolding of the beta-cell hormone human islet amyloid polypeptide (h-IAPP) into toxic oligomers plays a central role in the induction of beta-cell apoptosis in the context of type 2 diabetes. In this study, we show that annexin A5 plays a role in interacting with and reducing the toxicity of the amyloidogenic proteins, h-IAPP and alpha-synuclein. We find that annexin A5 is coexpressed in human beta-cells and that exogenous annexin A5 reduces the level of h-IAPP-induced apoptosis in human islets by approximately 50% and in rodent beta-cells by approximately 90%. Experiments with transgenic expression of alpha-synuclein in Caenorhabditis elegans show that annexin A5 reduces alpha-synuclein inclusions in vivo. Using thioflavin T fluorescence, electron microscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance, we provide evidence that substoichiometric amounts of annexin A5 inhibit h-IAPP and alpha-synuclein misfolding and fibril formation. We conclude that annexin A5 might act as a molecular safeguard against the formation of toxic amyloid aggregates.

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