Core sequence of PAPf39 amyloid fibrils and mechanism of pH-dependent fibril formation: the role of monomer conformation.
ABSTRACT: PAPf39, a 39-residue peptide fragment from human prostatic acidic phosphatase, has been shown to form amyloid fibrils in semen (SEVI), which increase HIV infectivity by up to 5 orders of magnitude. The sequence of the PAPf39 fibrillar core was identified using hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) mass spectrometry and protease protection assays. The central and C-terminal regions are highly protected from HDX and proteolytic cleavage and, thus, are part of the fibrillar core. Conversely, the N-terminal region is unprotected from HDX and proteolytic cleavage, suggesting that it is exposed and not part of the fibrillar core. This finding was tested using two N-terminal truncated variants, PAPf39?1-8 and PAPf39?1-13. Both variants formed amyloid fibrils at neutral pH. However, these variants showed a markedly different pH dependence of fibril formation versus that of PAPf39. PAPf39 fibrils can form at pH 7.7, but not at pH 5.5 or 2.5, while both N-terminally truncated variants can form fibrils at these pH values. Thus, the N-terminal region is not necessary for fibril formation but modulates the pH dependence of PAPf39 fibril formation. PAPf39?1-8 and PAPf39?1-13 are capable of seeding PAPf39 fibril formation at neutral pH, suggesting that these variants are structurally compatible with PAPf39, yet no mixed fibril formation occurs between the truncated variants and PAPf39 at low pH. This suggests that pH affects the PAPf39 monomer conformational ensemble, which is supported by far-UV circular dichroism spectroscopy. A conceptual model describing the pH dependence of PAPf39 aggregation is proposed and provides potential biological implications.
Project description:Amyloid formation is implicated in a number of human diseases. ?(2)-Microglobulin (?(2)m) is the precursor protein in dialysis-related amyloidosis and it has been shown that partial, or more complete, unfolding is key to amyloid fibril formation in this pathology. Here the relationship between conformational flexibility and ?(2)m amyloid formation at physiological pH has been investigated.HDX-ESI-MS was used to study the conformational dynamics of ?(2)m. Protein engineering, or the addition of Cu(2+) ions, sodium dodecyl sulphate, trifluoroethanol, heparin, or protein stabilisers, was employed to perturb the conformational dynamics of ?(2)m. The fibril-forming propensities of the protein variants and the wild-type protein in the presence of additives, which resulted in >5-fold increase in the EX1 rate of HDX, were investigated further.ESI-MS revealed that HDX occurs via a mixed EX1/EX2 mechanism under all conditions. Urea denaturation and tryptophan fluorescence indicated that EX1 exchange occurred from a globally unfolded state in wild-type ?(2)m. Although >30-fold increase in the HDX exchange rate was observed both for the protein variants and for the wild-type protein in the presence of specific additives, large increases in exchange rate did not necessarily result in extensive de novo fibril formation.The conformational dynamics measured by the EX1 rate of HDX do not predict the ability of ?(2)m to form amyloid fibrils de novo at neutral pH. This suggests that the formation of amyloid fibrils from ?(2)m at neutral pH is dependent on the generation of one or more specific aggregation-competent species which facilitate self-assembly.
Project description:?-Synuclein (?S) is the primary protein associated with Parkinson's disease, and it undergoes aggregation from its intrinsically disordered monomeric form to a cross-? fibrillar form. The closely related homolog ?-synuclein (?S) is essentially fibril-resistant under cytoplasmic physiological conditions. Toxic gain-of-function by ?S has been linked to dysfunction, but the aggregation behavior of ?S under altered pH is not well-understood. In this work, we compare fibril formation of ?S and ?S at pH 7.3 and mildly acidic pH 5.8, and we demonstrate that pH serves as an on/off switch for ?S fibrillation. Using ?S/?S domain-swapped chimera constructs and single residue substitutions in ?S, we localized the switch to acidic residues in the N-terminal and non-amyloid component domains of ?S. Computational models of ?S fibril structures indicate that key glutamate residues (Glu-31 and Glu-61) in these domains may be sites of pH-sensitive interactions, and variants E31A and E61A show dramatically altered pH sensitivity for fibril formation supporting the importance of these charged side chains in fibril formation of ?S. Our results demonstrate that relatively small changes in pH, which occur frequently in the cytoplasm and in secretory pathways, may induce the formation of ?S fibrils and suggest a complex role for ?S in synuclein cellular homeostasis and Parkinson's disease.
Project description:?-Synuclein (?-syn) is the major component of filamentous Lewy bodies found in the brains of patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD). Recent studies demonstrate that, in addition to the wild-type sequence, ?-syn is found in several modified forms, including truncated and phosphorylated species. Although the mechanism by which the neuronal loss in PD occurs is unknown, aggregation and fibril formation of ?-syn are considered to be key pathological features. In this study, we analyze the rates of fibril formation and the monomer-fibril equilibrium for eight disease-associated truncated and phosphorylated ?-syn variants. Comparison of the relative rates of aggregation reveals a strong monotonic relationship between the C-terminal charge of ?-syn and the lag time prior to the observation of fibril formation, with truncated species exhibiting the fastest aggregation rates. Moreover, we find that a decrease in C-terminal charge shifts the equilibrium to favor the fibrillar species. An analysis of these findings in the context of linear growth theories suggests that the loss of the charge-mediated stabilization of the soluble state is responsible for the enhanced aggregation rate and increased extent of fibril fraction. Therefore, C-terminal charge is kinetically and thermodynamically protective against ?-syn polymerization and may provide a target for the treatment of PD.
Project description:A key player in Alzheimer's disease is the peptide amyloid-beta (A?), whose aggregation into small soluble oligomers, protofilaments, and fibrils finally leads to plaque deposits in human brains. The aggregation behavior of A? is strongly modulated by the nature and composition of the peptide's environment and by its primary sequence properties. The N-terminal residues of A? play an important role, because they are known to change the peptide's aggregation propensity. Since these residues are for the first time completely resolved at the molecular level in a three-fold symmetric fibril structure derived from a patient, we chose that system as template for a systematic investigation of the influence of the N-terminus upon structural stability. Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we examined several fibrillar systems comprising three, six, twelve and an infinite number of layers, both with and without the first eight residues. First, we found that three layers are not sufficient to stabilize the respective A? topology. Second, we observed a clear stabilizing effect of the N-terminal residues upon the overall fibril fold: truncated A? systems were less stable than their full-length counterparts. The N-terminal residues Arg5, Asp7, and Ser8 were found to form important interfilament contacts stabilizing the overall fibril structure of three-fold symmetry. Finally, similar structural rearrangements of the truncated A? species in different simulations prompted us to suggest a potential mechanism involved in the formation of amyloid fibrils with three-fold symmetry.
Project description:Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy is a late-onset disease caused by an elongation of a natural 10-alanine segment within the N-terminal domain of the nuclear poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PABPN1) to maximally 17 alanines. The disease is characterized by intranuclear deposits consisting primarily of PABPN1. In previous studies, we could show that the N-terminal domain of PABPN1 forms amyloid-like fibrils. Here, we analyze fibril formation of full-length PABPN1. Unexpectedly, fibril formation was independent of the presence of the alanine segment. With regard to fibril formation kinetics and resistance against denaturants, fibrils formed by full-length PABPN1 had completely different properties from those formed by the N-terminal domain. Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy and limited proteolysis showed that fibrillar PABPN1 has a structure that differs from native PABPN1. Circumstantial evidence is presented that the C-terminal domain is involved in fibril formation.
Project description:Amyloid fibrils, crystal-like fibrillar aggregates of proteins associated with various amyloidoses, have the potential to propagate via a prion-like mechanism. Among known methodologies to dissolve preformed amyloid fibrils, acid treatment has been used with the expectation that the acids will degrade amyloid fibrils similar to acid-inactivation of protein functions. Contrary to our expectation, treatment with strong acids, such as HCl or H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub>, of β<sub>2</sub>-microglobulin (β2m) or insulin actually promoted amyloid fibril formation, proportionally to the concentration of acid used. A similar promotion was observed at pH 2.0 upon the addition of salts, such as NaCl or Na<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub>. Although tricholoroacetic acid, another strong acid, promoted amyloid fibril formation of β2m, formic acid, a weak acid, did not, suggesting the dominant role of anions in promoting fibril formation of this protein. Comparison of the effects of acids and salts confirmed the critical role of anions, indicating that strong acids likely induce amyloid fibril formation via an anion-binding mechanism. The results suggest that although the addition of strong acids decreases pH, it is not useful for degrading amyloid fibrils, but rather induces or stabilizes amyloid fibrils via an anion-binding mechanism.
Project description:The bacteriophage encoded hyaluronate lyases (HylP and HylP2) degrade hyaluronan and other glycosaminoglycans. HylP2 forms a functional fibril under acidic conditions in which its N-terminus is proposed to form the fibrillar core, leading to nucleation and acceleration of fibril formation. Here we report the presence of a hot spot region (A144GVVVY149) towards the carboxy terminus of HylP2, essential for the acceleration of fibril formation. The 'hot spot' is observed to be inherently mutated for valines (A178AMVMY183) in case of HylP. The N- terminal swapped chimeras between these phage HLs ((N)HylP2(C)HylP and (N)HylP(C)HylP2) or HylP did not form fibrils at acidic pH. However, seeding of prefibrils of HylP2 recompensed nucleation and led to fibrillation in (N)HylP(C)HylP2. The V147A mutation in the 'hot spot' region abolished fibril formation in HylP2. The M179V and M181V double mutations in the 'hot spot' region of HylP led to fibrillation with the seeding of prefibrils. It appears that fibrillation in HylP2 even though is initiated by the N-terminus, is accelerated by the conserved 'hot spot' region in the C-terminus. A collagenous (Gly-X-Y)10 motif in the N-terminus and a mutated 'hot spot' region in the C-terminus of HylP affect fibrillar nucleation and acceleration respectively.
Project description:Ovalbumin (OVA), a non-inhibitory member of the serpin superfamily, forms fibrillar aggregates upon heat-induced denaturation. Recent studies suggested that OVA fibrils are generated by a mechanism similar to that of amyloid fibril formation, which is distinct from polymerization mechanisms proposed for other serpins. In this study, we provide new insights into the mechanism of OVA fibril formation through identification of amyloidogenic core regions using synthetic peptide fragments, site-directed mutagenesis, and limited proteolysis. OVA possesses a single disulfide bond between Cys(73) and Cys(120) in the N-terminal helical region of the protein. Heat treatment of disulfide-reduced OVA resulted in the formation of long straight fibrils that are distinct from the semiflexible fibrils formed from OVA with an intact disulfide. Computer predictions suggest that helix B (hB) of the N-terminal region, strand 3A, and strands 4-5B are highly ?-aggregation-prone regions. These predictions were confirmed by the fact that synthetic peptides corresponding to these regions formed amyloid fibrils. Site-directed mutagenesis of OVA indicated that V41A substitution in hB interfered with the formation of fibrils. Co-incubation of a soluble peptide fragment of hB with the disulfide-intact full-length OVA consistently promoted formation of long straight fibrils. In addition, the N-terminal helical region of the heat-induced fibril of OVA was protected from limited proteolysis. These results indicate that the heat-induced fibril formation of OVA occurs by a mechanism involving transformation of the N-terminal helical region of the protein to ?-strands, thereby forming sequential intermolecular linkages.
Project description:A number of factors have been implicated in the regulation of tissue-specific collagen fibril diameter. Previous data suggest that assembly of heterotypic fibrils composed of two different fibrillar collagens represents a general mechanism regulating fibril diameter. Specifically, we hypothesize that type V collagen is required for the assembly of the small diameter fibrils observed in the cornea. To test this, we used a dominant-negative retroviral strategy to decrease the levels of type V collagen secreted by chicken corneal fibroblasts. The chicken alpha 1(V) collagen gene was cloned, and retroviral vectors that expressed a polycistronic mRNA encoding a truncated alpha 1(V) minigene and the reporter gene LacZ were constructed. The efficiency of viral infection was 30-40%, as determined by assaying beta-galactosidase activity. To assess the expression from the recombinant provirus, Northern analysis was performed and indicated that infected fibroblasts expressed high steady-state levels of retroviral mRNA. Infected cells synthesized the truncated alpha 1(V) protein, and this was detectable only intracellularly, in a distribution that colocalized with lysosomes. To assess endogenous alpha 1(V) protein levels, infected cell cultures were assayed, and these consistently demonstrated reductions relative to control virus-infected or uninfected cultures. Analyses of corneal fibril morphology demonstrated that the reduction in type V collagen resulted in the assembly of large-diameter fibrils with a broad size distribution, characteristics similar to fibrils produced in connective tissues with low type V concentrations. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated the amino-terminal domain of type V collagen was associated with the small-diameter fibrils, but not the large fibrils. These data indicate that type V collagen levels regulate corneal fibril diameter and that the reduction of type V collagen is sufficient to alter fibril assembly so that abnormally large-diameter fibrils are deposited into the matrix.
Project description:SEM1(86-107) is a 22-residue peptide corresponding to residues 86-107 in the semenogelin I protein. SEM1(86-107) is an abundant component of freshly liquefied semen and forms amyloid fibrils capable of enhancing HIV infection. To probe the factors affecting fibril formation and gain a better understanding of how differences in pH between semen and vaginal fluid affect fibril stability, this study determined the effect of pH on SEM1(86-107) fibril formation and dissociation. The SEM1(86-107) fibril structure (i.e., residues that comprise the fibrillar core) was also probed using hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDXMS) and hydroxyl radical-mediated protein modification. The average percent exposure to hydroxyl radical-mediated modification in the SEM1(86-107) fibrils was determined without requiring tandem mass spectrometry spectral acquisition or complete separation of modified peptides. It was found that the residue exposures calculated from HDXMS and hydroxyl radical-mediated modification were similar. These techniques demonstrated that three regions of SEM1(86-107) comprise the amyloid fibril core and that positively charged residues are exposed, suggesting that electrostatic interactions between SEM1(86-107) and HIV or the cell surface may be responsible for mediating HIV infection enhancement by the SEM1(86-107) fibrils.