Site-specific identification of an a? fibril-heparin interaction site by using solid-state NMR spectroscopy.
ABSTRACT: At the surface of A?(1-40) amyloid fibrils that have a threefold molecular symmetry (green in the left picture) a site of interaction of the glycosaminoglycan analogue heparin (blue) was identified. The binding site consists of residues at the N terminus and the turn regions defining the apices of the triangular geometry. Heparin has a lower affinity for A?(1-40) fibrils having twofold molecular symmetry, thus revealing a remarkable morphological selectivity.
Project description:α-Synuclein (α-syn), as a primary pathogenic protein in Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies, exhibits a high potential to form polymorphic fibrils. Chemical ligands have been found to involve in the assembly of α-syn fibrils in patients' brains. However, how ligands influence the fibril polymorphism remains vague. Here, we report the near-atomic structures of α-syn fibrils in complex with heparin, a representative glycosaminoglycan (GAG), determined by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The structures demonstrate that the presence of heparin completely alters the fibril assembly via rearranging the charge interactions of α-syn both at the intramolecular and the inter-protofilamental levels, which leads to the generation of four fibril polymorphs. Remarkably, in one of the fibril polymorphs, α-syn folds into a distinctive conformation that has not been observed previously. Moreover, the heparin-α-syn complex fibrils exhibit diminished neuropathology in primary neurons. Our work provides the structural mechanism for how heparin determines the assembly of α-syn fibrils, and emphasizes the important role of biological polymers in the conformational selection and neuropathology regulation of amyloid fibrils.
Project description:Elucidating the structure of A?(1-40) fibrils is of interest in Alzheimer's disease research because it is required for designing therapeutics that target A?(1-40) fibril formation at an early stage of the disease. M35 is a crucial residue because of its potential oxidation and its strong interactions across ?-strands and across ?-sheets in A? fibrils. Experimentally, data for the three-fold symmetry structure of the A?(9-40) fibril suggest formation of tight hydrophobic core through M35 interactions across the fibril axis and strong I31-V39 interactions between different cross-? units. Herein, on the basis of experimental data, we probe conformers with three-fold symmetry of the full-length A?(1-40). Our all-atom molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent of conformers based on the ssNMR data reproduced experimental observations of M35-M35 and I31-V39 distances. Our interpretation of the experimental data suggests that the observed ?5-7 Å M35-M35 distance in the fibril three-fold symmetry structure is likely to relate to M35 interactions along the fibril axis, rather than across the fibril axis, since our measured M35-M35 distances across the fibril axis are consistently above 15 Å. Consequently, we revealed that the unique A?(1-40) triangular structure has a large cavity along the fibril axis and that the N-termini can assist in the stabilization of the fibril by interacting with the U-turn domains or with the C-termini domains. Our findings, together with the recent cyroEM characterization of the hollow core in A?(1-42) fibrils, point to the relevance of a cavity in A?(1-40/1-42) oligomers which should be considered when targeting oligomer toxicity.
Project description:We characterized the interaction of amylin with heparin fragments of defined length, which model the glycosaminoglycan chains associated with amyloid deposits found in type 2 diabetes. Binding of heparin fragments to the positively charged N-terminal half of monomeric amylin depends on the concentration of negatively charged saccharides but is independent of oligosaccharide length. By contrast, amylin fibrillogenesis has a sigmoidal dependence on heparin fragment length, with an enhancement observed for oligosaccharides longer than four monomers and a leveling off of effects beyond 12 monomers. The length dependence suggests that the negatively charged helical structure of heparin electrostatically complements the positively charged surface of the fibrillar amylin cross-? structure. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy experiments indicate that heparin associates with amylin fibrils, rather than enhancing fibrillogenesis catalytically. Short heparin fragments containing two- or eight-saccharide monomers protect against amylin cytotoxicity toward a MIN6 mouse cell model of pancreatic ?-cells.
Project description:Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs), such as α-PSMs, β-PSMs, and δ-toxin, are virulence peptides secreted by different Staphylococcus aureus strains. PSMs are able to form amyloid fibrils, which may strengthen the biofilm matrix that promotes bacterial colonization of and extended growth on surfaces (e.g., cell tissue) and increases antibiotic resistance. Many components contribute to biofilm formation, including the human-produced highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan heparin. Although heparin promotes S. aureus infection, the molecular basis for this is unclear. Given that heparin is known to induce fibrillation of a wide range of proteins, we hypothesized that heparin aids bacterial colonization by promoting PSM fibrillation. Here, we address this hypothesis using a combination of thioflavin T-fluorescence kinetic studies, CD, FTIR, electron microscopy, and peptide microarrays to investigate the mechanism of aggregation, the structure of the fibrils, and identify possible binding regions. We found that heparin accelerates fibrillation of all α-PSMs (except PSMα2) and δ-toxin but inhibits β-PSM fibrillation by blocking nucleation or reducing fibrillation levels. Given that S. aureus secretes higher levels of α-PSM than β-PSM peptides, heparin is therefore likely to promote fibrillation overall. Heparin binding is driven by multiple positively charged lysine residues in α-PSMs and δ-toxins, the removal of which strongly reduced binding affinity. Binding of heparin did not affect the structure of the resulting fibrils, that is, the outcome of the aggregation process. Rather, heparin provided a scaffold to catalyze or inhibit fibrillation. Based on our findings, we speculate that heparin may strengthen the bacterial biofilm and therefore enhance colonization via increased PSM fibrillation.
Project description:Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are highly sulfated linear polysaccharides prevalent in the extracellular matrix, and they associate with virtually all amyloid deposits in vivo. GAGs accelerate the aggregation of many amyloidogenic peptides in vitro, but little mechanistic evidence is available to explain why. Herein, spectroscopic methods demonstrate that GAGs do not affect the secondary structure of the monomeric 8 kDa amyloidogenic fragment of human plasma gelsolin. Moreover, monomerized 8 kDa gelsolin does not bind to heparin under physiological conditions. In contrast, 8 kDa gelsolin cross-?-sheet oligomers and amyloid fibrils bind strongly to heparin, apparently because of electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged polysaccharide and a positively charged region of the 8 kDa gelsolin assemblies. Our observations are consistent with a scaffolding mechanism whereby cross-?-sheet oligomers, upon formation, bind to GAGs, accelerating the fibril extension phase of amyloidogenesis, possibly by concentrating and orienting the oligomers to more efficiently form amyloid fibrils. Notably, heparin decreases the 8 kDa gelsolin concentration necessary for amyloid fibril formation, likely a consequence of fibril stabilization through heparin binding. Because GAG overexpression, which is common in amyloidosis, may represent a strategy for minimizing cross-?-sheet oligomer toxicity by transforming them into amyloid fibrils, the mechanism described herein for GAG-mediated acceleration of 8 kDa gelsolin amyloidogenesis provides a starting point for therapeutic strategy development. The addition of GAG mimetics, small molecule sulfonates shown to reduce the amyloid load in animal models of amyloidosis, to a heparin-accelerated 8 kDa gelsolin aggregation reaction mixture neither significantly alters the rate of amyloidogenesis nor prevents oligomers from binding to GAGs, calling into question their commonly accepted mechanism.
Project description:During extracellular matrix (ECM) assembly, fibronectin (FN) fibrils are irreversibly converted into a detergent-insoluble form which, through FN's multi-domain structure, can interact with collagens, matricellular proteins, and growth factors to build a definitive matrix. FN also has heparin/heparan sulfate (HS) binding sites. Using HS-deficient CHO cells, we show that the addition of soluble heparin significantly increased the amount of FN matrix that these cells assemble. Sulfated HS glycosaminoglycan (GAG) mimetics similarly increased FN assembly and demonstrated a dependence on GAG sulfation. The length of the heparin chains also plays a role in assembly. Chains of sufficient length to bind to two FN molecules gave maximal stimulation of assembly whereas shorter heparin had less of an effect. Using a decellularized fibroblast matrix for proteolysis, detergent fractionation, and mass spectrometry, we found that the predominant domain within insoluble fibril fragments is FN's major heparin-binding domain HepII (modules III12-14). Multiple HepII domains bind simultaneously to a single heparin chain in size exclusion chromatography analyses. We propose a model in which heparin/HS binding to the HepII domain connects multiple FNs together to facilitate the formation of protein interactions for insoluble fibril assembly.
Project description:The A? peptide forms extracellular plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. In addition to protein fibrils, amyloid plaques also contain non-proteinaceous components, including glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). We have shown previously that the GAG low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) binds to A?40 fibrils with a three-fold-symmetric (3Q) morphology with higher affinity than A?40 fibrils in alternative structures, A?42 fibrils, or amyloid fibrils formed from other sequences. Solid-state NMR analysis of the GAG-3Q fibril complex revealed an interaction site at the corners of the 3Q fibril structure, but the origin of the binding specificity remained obscure. Here, using a library of short heparin polysaccharides modified at specific sites, we show that the N-sulfate or 6-O-sulfate of glucosamine, but not the 2-O-sulfate of iduronate within heparin is required for 3Q binding, indicating selectivity in the interactions of the GAG with the fibril that extends beyond general electrostatic complementarity. By creating 3Q fibrils containing point substitutions in the amino acid sequence, we also show that charged residues at the fibril three-fold apices provide the majority of the binding free energy, while charged residues elsewhere are less critical for binding. The results indicate, therefore, that LMWH binding to 3Q fibrils requires a precise molecular complementarity of the sulfate moieties on the GAG and charged residues displayed on the fibril surface. Differences in GAG binding to fibrils with distinct sequence and/or structure may thus contribute to the diverse etiology and progression of amyloid diseases.
Project description:The intrinsically disordered protein ?-synuclein (aSN) is, in its fibrillated state, the main component of Lewy bodies-hallmarks of Parkinson's disease. Additional Lewy body components include glycosaminoglycans, including heparan sulfate proteoglycans. In humans, heparan sulfate has, in an age-dependent manner, shown increased levels of sulfation. Heparin, a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan, is a relevant mimic for mature heparan sulfate and has been shown to influence aSN fibrillation. Here, we decompose the underlying properties of the interaction between heparin and aSN and the effect of heparin on fibrillation. Via the isolation of the first 61 residues of aSN, which lacked intrinsic fibrillation propensity, fibrillation could be induced by heparin, and access to the initial steps in fibrillation was possible. Here, structural changes with shifts from disorder via type I ?-turns to ?-sheets were revealed, correlating with an increase in the aSN1-61/heparin molar ratio. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that heparin and aSN1-61 co-exist in the final fibrils. We conclude that heparin can induce the fibrillation of aSN1-61, through binding to the N-terminal with an affinity that is higher in the truncated form of aSN. It does so by specifically modulating the structure of aSN via the formation of type I ?-turn structures likely critical for triggering aSN fibrillation.
Project description:The elucidation of the structure of glycosaminoglycan has proven to be challenging for analytical chemists. Molecules of glycosaminoglycan have a high negative charge and are polydisperse and microheterogeneous, thus requiring the application of multiple analytical techniques and methods. Heparin and heparan sulfate are the most structurally complex of the glycosaminoglycans and are widely distributed in nature. They play critical roles in physiological and pathophysiological processes through their interaction with heparin-binding proteins. Moreover, heparin and low-molecular weight heparin are currently used as pharmaceutical drugs to control blood coagulation. In 2008, the health crisis resulting from the contamination of pharmaceutical heparin led to considerable attention regarding their analysis and structural characterization. Modern analytical techniques, including high-performance liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, played critical roles in this effort. A successful combination of separation and spectral techniques will clearly provide a critical advantage in the future analysis of heparin and heparan sulfate. This review focuses on recent efforts to develop hyphenated techniques for the analysis of heparin and heparan sulfate.
Project description:Heparanase is an endoglycosidase that participates in morphogenesis, tissue repair, heparan sulphates turnover and immune response processes. It is over-expressed in tumor cells favoring the metastasis as it penetrates the endothelial layer that lines blood vessels and facilitates the metastasis by degradation of heparan sulphate proteoglycans of the extracellular matrix. Heparanase may also affect the hemostatic system in a non-enzymatic manner, up-regulating the expression of tissue factor, which is the initiator of blood coagulation, and dissociating tissue factor pathway inhibitor on the cell surface membrane of endothelial and tumor cells, thus resulting in a procoagulant state. Trying to check the effect of heparanase on heparin, a highly sulphated glycosaminoglycan, when it activates antithrombin, our results demonstrated that heparanase, but not proheparanase, interacted directly with antithrombin in a non-covalent manner. This interaction resulted in the activation of antithrombin, which is the most important endogenous anticoagulant. This activation mainly accelerated FXa inhibition, supporting an allosteric activation effect. Heparanase bound to the heparin binding site of antithrombin as the activation of Pro41Leu, Arg47Cys, Lys114Ala and Lys125Alaantithrombin mutants was impaired when it was compared to wild type antithrombin. Intrinsic fluorescence analysis showed that heparanase induced an activating conformational change in antithrombin similar to that induced by heparin and with a KD of 18.81 pM. In conclusion, under physiological pH and low levels of tissue factor, heparanase may exert a non-enzymatic function interacting and activating the inhibitory function of antithrombin.