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Biochemistry. 2015 Sep 15;54(36):5546-56. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.5b00473. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Early Events in the Amyloid Formation of the A546T Mutant of Transforming Growth Factor β-Induced Protein in Corneal Dystrophies Compared to the Nonfibrillating R555W and R555Q Mutants.

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Center for Insoluble Protein Structures (inSPIN) and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University , Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University , Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University , Aarhus, Denmark.


The human transforming growth factor β-induced protein (TGFBIp) is involved in several types of corneal dystrophies where protein aggregation and amyloid fibril formation severely impair vision. Most disease-causing mutations are located in the last of four homologous fasciclin-1 (FAS1) domains of the protein, and it has been shown that when isolated, the fourth FAS1 domain (FAS1-4) mimics the behavior of full-length TGFBIp. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and principal component analysis to study the wild-type FAS1-4 domain along with three disease-causing mutations (R555W, R555Q, and A546T) to decipher any internal difference in dynamical properties of the domains that may explain their varied stabilities and aggregation properties. In addition, we use a protein-protein docking method in combination with chemical cross-linking experiments and mass spectrometry of the cross-linked species to obtain information about interaction faces between identical FAS1-4 domains. The results show that the pathogenic mutations A546T and R555W affect the packing in the hydrophobic core of FAS1-4 in different directions. We further show that the FAS1-4 monomers associate using their β-rich regions, consistent with peptides observed to be part of the amyloid fibril core in lattice corneal dystrophy patients.

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