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ACS Chem Neurosci. 2020 Jan 10. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.9b00645. [Epub ahead of print]

Inhibitory Activity of Insulin on Aβ Aggregation Is Restricted Due to Binding Selectivity and Specificity to Polymorphic Aβ States.

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Department of Chemistry , Ben-Gurion University of the Negev , Be'er Sheva 84105 , Israel.
The Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology , Ben-Gurion University of the Negev , Be'er Sheva 84105 , Israel.


Clinical trials of intranasal insulin treatment for Alzheimer's patients have shown cognitive and memory improvement, but the effect of insulin has shown a limitation. It was suggested that insulin molecule binds to Aβ aggregates and impedes Aβ aggregation. Yet, the specific interactions between insulin molecule and Aβ aggregates at atomic resolution are still elusive. Three main conclusions are observed in this work. First, insulin can interact across the fibril only to "U-shape" Aβ fibrils and not to "S-shape" Aβ fibrils. Therefore, insulin is not expected to influence the "S-shape" Aβ fibrils. Second, insulin disrupts β-strands along Aβ fibril-like oligomers via interaction with chain A, which is not a part of the recognition motif. It is suggested that insulin affects as an inhibitor of Aβ fibrillation, but it is limited due to the specificity of the polymorphic Aβ fibril-like oligomer. Third, the current work proposes that insulin promotes Aβ aggregation, when interacting along the fibril axis of Aβ fibril-like oligomer. The coaggregation could be initiated via the recognition motif. The lack of the interactions of insulin in the recognition motif impede the coaggregation of insulin and Aβ. The current work reports the specific binding domains between insulin molecule and polymorphic Aβ fibril-like oligomers. This research provides insights into the molecular mechanisms of the functional activity of insulin on Aβ aggregation that strongly depends on the particular polymorphic Aβ aggregates.


Alzheimer’s disease; Polymorphism; amyloid aggregation; amyloid inhibitors; amyloid β; insulin

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