Mitigating Human IAPP Amyloidogenesis In Vivo with Chiral Silica Nanoribbons.
ABSTRACT: Amyloid fibrils generally display chirality, a feature which has rarely been exploited in the development of therapeutics against amyloid diseases. This study reports, for the first time, the use of mesoscopic chiral silica nanoribbons against the in vivo amyloidogenesis of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), the peptide whose aggregation is implicated in type 2 diabetes. The thioflavin T assay and transmission electron microscopy show accelerated IAPP fibrillization through elimination of the nucleation phase and shortening of the elongation phase by the nanostructures. Coarse-grained simulations offer complementary molecular insights into the acceleration of amyloid aggregation through their nonspecific binding and directional seeding with the nanostructures. This accelerated IAPP fibrillization translates to reduced toxicity, especially for the right-handed silica nanoribbons, as revealed by cell viability, helium ion microscopy, as well as zebrafish embryo survival, developmental, and behavioral assays. This study has implicated the potential of employing chiral nanotechnologies against the mesoscopic enantioselectivity of amyloid proteins and their associated diseases.
Project description:Protein aggregation into amyloid fibrils is a ubiquitous phenomenon across the spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders and type 2 diabetes. A common strategy against amyloidogenesis is to minimize the populations of toxic oligomers and protofibrils by inhibiting protein aggregation with small molecules or nanoparticles. However, melanin synthesis in nature is realized by accelerated protein fibrillation to circumvent accumulation of toxic intermediates. Accordingly, we designed and demonstrated the use of star-shaped poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) (PHEA) nanostructures for promoting aggregation while ameliorating the toxicity of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), the peptide involved in glycemic control and the pathology of type 2 diabetes. The binding of PHEA elevated the ?-sheet content in IAPP aggregates while rendering a new morphology of "stelliform" amyloids originating from the polymers. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the PHEA arms served as rodlike scaffolds for IAPP binding and subsequently accelerated IAPP aggregation by increased local peptide concentration. The tertiary structure of the star nanoparticles was found to be essential for driving the specific interactions required to impel the accelerated IAPP aggregation. This study sheds new light on the structure-toxicity relationship of IAPP and points to the potential of exploiting star polymers as a new class of therapeutic agents against amyloidogenesis.
Project description:Type II diabetes mellitus is associated with the deposition of fibrillar aggregates in pancreatic islets. The major protein component of islet amyloids is the glucomodulatory hormone islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Islet amyloid fibrils are virtually always associated with several biomolecules, including apolipoprotein E, metals, glycosaminoglycans, and various lipids. IAPP amyloidogenesis has been originally perceived as a self-assembly homogeneous process in which the inherent aggregation propensity of the peptide and its local concentration constitute the major driving forces to fibrillization. However, over the last two decades, numerous studies have shown a prominent role of amyloid cofactors in IAPP fibrillogenesis associated with the etiology of type II diabetes. It is increasingly evident that the biochemical microenvironment in which IAPP amyloid formation occurs and the interactions of the polypeptide with various biomolecules not only modulate the rate and extent of aggregation, but could also remodel the amyloidogenesis process as well as the structure, toxicity, and stability of the resulting fibrils.
Project description:Amyloid aggregation of amyloid-beta (A?) and islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type-2 diabetes (T2D), respectively. With T2D being the risk factor for AD and the ability of IAPP to cross the blood-brain barrier, the coaggregation of A? and IAPP has been explored to understand the cross-talk between the two diseases. Recent studies demonstrated that soluble IAPP could significantly accelerate the aggregation of A? while preformed amyloids of IAPP were poor "seeds" for A? aggregation. Here, we apply all-atom discrete molecular dynamics simulations to investigate possible molecular mechanisms for the accelerated coaggregation of IAPP and A?42 comparing to A?42 aggregation alone, which was confirmed by the complementary thioflavin-T fluorescence assay. Our simulation results suggest that peptides in the mixture tend to form heterodimers as the first step toward their coaggregation. Strong interpeptide interactions with IAPP in the heterodimer shift the helical conformation of A?42 in its amyloidogenic central hydrophobic core, residues 16-22 (A?16-22), to the extended conformation ready to form ?-sheets. Our study suggests that the unfolding of A?16-22 helix contributes to the aggregation free-energy barrier and corresponds to the rate-limiting conformational change for A?42 aggregation. Therefore, we propose that soluble IAPP promotes the aggregation of A?42 by binding-induced conformational change of A?42 in its amyloidogenic core and thus reduced aggregation free-energy barrier.
Project description:The development of biocompatible nanomaterials has become a new frontier in the detection, treatment and prevention of human amyloid diseases. Here we demonstrated the use of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) as a potent inhibitor against the in vivo aggregation and toxicity of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. GQDs initiated contact with IAPP through electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions as well as hydrogen bonding, which subsequently drove the peptide fibrillization off-pathway to eliminate the toxic intermediates. Such interactions, probed in vitro by a thioflavin T kinetic assay, fluorescence quenching, circular dichroism spectroscopy, a cell viability assay and in silico by discrete molecular dynamics simulations, translated to a significant recovery of embryonic zebrafish from the damage elicited by IAPP in vivo, as indicated by improved hatching as well as alleviated reactive oxygen species production, abnormality and mortality of the organism. This study points to the potential of using zero-dimensional nanomaterials for in vivo mitigation of a range of amyloidosis.
Project description:A direct observation of amyloid aggregation from isolated peptides to cross-? fibrils is crucial for understanding the nucleation-dependence process, but the corresponding macroscopic timescales impose a major computational challenge. Using rapid all-atom discrete molecular dynamics simulations, we capture the oligomerization and fibrillization dynamics of the amyloid core sequences of amyloid-? (A?) in Alzheimer's disease and islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) in type-2 diabetes, namely A?16-22 and IAPP22-28. Both peptides and their mixture spontaneously assemble into cross-? aggregates in silico, but follow distinct pathways. A?16-22 is highly aggregation-prone with a funneled free energy basin toward multi-layer ?-sheet aggregates. IAPP22-28, on the other hand, features the accumulation of unstructured oligomers before the nucleation of ?-sheets and growth into double-layer ?-sheet aggregates. In the presence of A?16-22, the aggregation of IAPP22-28 is promoted by forming co-aggregated multi-layer ?-sheets. Our study offers a detailed molecular insight to the long-postulated oligomerization-nucleation process in the amyloid aggregations.
Project description:Although much has been learned about the fibrillization kinetics, structure and toxicity of amyloid proteins, the properties of amyloid fibrils beyond the saturation phase are often perceived as chemically and biologically inert, despite evidence suggesting otherwise. To fill this knowledge gap, we examined the physical and biological characteristics of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) fibrils that were aged up to two months. Not only did aging decrease the toxicity of IAPP fibrils, but the fibrils also sequestered fresh IAPP and suppressed their toxicity in an embryonic zebrafish model. The mechanical properties of IAPP fibrils in different aging stages were probed by atomic force microscopy and sonication, which displayed comparable stiffness but age-dependent fragmentation, followed by self-assembly of such fragments into the largest lamellar amyloid structures reported to date. The dynamic structural and toxicity profiles of amyloid fibrils and plaques suggest that they play active, long-term roles in cell degeneration and may be a therapeutic target for amyloid diseases.
Project description:Aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) into islet amyloid results in β-cell toxicity in human type 2 diabetes. To determine the effect of islet amyloid formation on gene expression, we performed RNA-seq analysis using cultured islets from either wild-type mice (mIAPP), which are not amyloid prone, or mice that express human IAPP (hIAPP), which develop amyloid. Comparing mIAPP and hIAPP islets, 5025 genes were differentially regulated (2439 upregulated and 2586 downregulated). When considering gene sets (reactomes), 248 and 52 pathways were up- and downregulated, respectively. Of the top 100 genes upregulated under two conditions of amyloid formation, seven were common. Of these seven genes, only steroidogenic acute regulatory protein AQ2 (Star) demonstrated no effect of glucose per se to modify its expression. We confirmed this differential gene expression using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and also demonstrated the presence of StAR protein in islets containing amyloid. Furthermore, Star is a part of reactomes representing metabolism, metabolism of lipids, metabolism of steroid hormones, metabolism of steroids and pregnenolone biosynthesis. Thus, examining gene expression that is differentially regulated by islet amyloid has the ability to identify new molecules involved in islet physiology and pathology applicable to type 2 diabetes. Overall design: Here we applied RNA-seq to study the effect of high glucose and IAPP aggregation on the transcriptome. Aggregation was stimulated by transgenic replacement of the mouse IAPP gene sequence with the corresponding human IAPP sequence, as per Hiddinga et al (2011 DOI:10.1111/j.2040-1124.2011.00166.x). To do this we profiled four sample groups with n=8 biological replicates: (1) wild type mouse islets cultured in 11.1 mmol/L glucose. (2) wild type mouse islets cultured in 16.7 mmol/L glucose. (3) transgenic hIAPP mouse islets cultured in 11.1 mmol/L glucose. (4) transgenic hIAPP mouse islets cultured in 16.7 mmol/L glucose
Project description:Protein aggregation into cytotoxic oligomers and fibrils in vivo is linked to cell degeneration and the pathogenesis of >25 uncurable diseases, whereas the high aggregation propensity and insolubility of several bioactive polypeptides and proteins in vitro prevent their therapeutic use. Aggregation of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) into pancreatic amyloid is strongly associated with the pathogenesis of type II diabetes. IAPP is a 37-residue polypeptide that acts as a neuroendocrine regulator of glucose homeostasis. However, IAPP misfolds and self-associates into cytotoxic aggregates and fibrils even at nanomolar concentrations. Because IAPP aggregation causes beta-cell death and prohibits therapeutic application of IAPP in diabetes, we pursued a minimalistic chemical design approach to generate a molecular mimic of a nonamyloidogenic and bioactive IAPP conformation that would still be able to associate with IAPP and thus inhibit its fibrillogenesis and cytotoxicity. We show that the double N-methylated full length IAPP analog [(N-Me)G24, (N-Me)I26]-IAPP (IAPP-GI) is a highly soluble, nonamyloidogenic, and noncytotoxic IAPP molecular mimic and an IAPP receptor agonist. Moreover, IAPP-GI binds IAPP with low nanomolar affinity and completely blocks IAPP cytotoxic self-assembly and fibrillogenesis with activity in the low nanomolar concentration range. Importantly, IAPP-GI dissociates cytotoxic IAPP oligomers and fibrils and is able to reverse their cytotoxicity. Bifunctional soluble IAPP mimics that combine bioactivity with the ability to block and reverse IAPP cytotoxic self-assembly are promising candidates for the treatment of diabetes. Moreover, our amyloid disease inhibitor design concept may be applicable to other protein aggregation diseases.
Project description:In type 2 diabetes, the formation of islet amyloid consisting of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is associated with reduction in ?-cell mass and contributes to the failure of islet cell transplantation. Rational design of inhibitors of IAPP amyloid formation has therapeutic potential, but is hampered by the lack of structural information on inhibitor complexes of the conformationally flexible, aggregation-prone IAPP. Here we characterize a ?-hairpin conformation of IAPP in complex with the engineered binding protein ?-wrapin HI18. The ?-strands correspond to two amyloidogenic motifs, 12-LANFLVH-18 and 22-NFGAILS-28, which are connected by a turn established around Ser-20. Besides backbone hydrogen bonding, the IAPP:HI18 interaction surface is dominated by non-polar contacts involving hydrophobic side chains of the IAPP ?-strands. Apart from monomers, HI18 binds oligomers and fibrils and inhibits IAPP aggregation and toxicity at low substoichiometric concentrations. The IAPP ?-hairpin can serve as a molecular recognition motif enabling control of IAPP aggregation.
Project description:Amyloid aggregation of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes (T2D), a metabolic disease and a global epidemic. Although IAPP is synthesized in pancreatic ?-cells, its fibrils and plaques are found in the extracellular space indicating a causative transmembrane process. Numerous biophysical studies have revealed that cell membranes as well as model lipid vesicles promote the aggregation of amyloid-? (associated with Alzheimer's), ?-synuclein (associated with Parkinson's) and IAPP, through electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions between the proteins/peptides and lipid membranes. Using a thioflavin T kinetic assay, transmission electron microscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, discrete molecular dynamics simulations as well as free energy calculations here we show that micellar lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), the most abundant lysophospholipid in the blood, inhibited the amyloid aggregation of IAPP through nonspecific interactions while elevating the ?-helical peptide secondary structure. This surprising finding suggests a native protective mechanism against IAPP aggregation in vivo.