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Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(3):3801-19. doi: 10.3390/ijms13033801. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

The effect of osmolytes on protein fibrillation.

Author information

1
iNANO, Center for Insoluble Protein Structures (inSPIN), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 10C, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; E-Mail: francesca@inano.au.dk.

Abstract

Osmolytes are small molecules that are exploited by cells as a protective system against stress conditions. They favour compact protein states which makes them stabilize globular proteins in vitro and promote folding. Conversely, this preference for compact states promotes aggregation of unstructured proteins. Here we combine a brief review of the effect of osmolytes on protein fibrillation with a report of the effect of osmolytes on the unstructured peptide hormone glucagon. Our results show that osmolytes either accelerate the fibrillation kinetics or leave them unaffected, with the exception of the osmolyte taurine. Furthermore, the osmolytes that affected the shape of the fibrillation time profile led to fibrils with different structure as revealed by CD. The structural changes induced by Pro, Ser and choline-O-sulfate could be due to specific osmolytes binding to the peptides, stabilizing an otherwise labile fibrillation intermediate.

KEYWORDS:

amyloid; fibrillation mechanism; glucagon; polymorphism; taurine

PMID:
22489184
PMCID:
PMC3317744
DOI:
10.3390/ijms13033801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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