Desmin forms toxic, seeding-competent amyloid aggregates that persist in muscle fibers.
ABSTRACT: Desmin-associated myofibrillar myopathy (MFM) has pathologic similarities to neurodegeneration-associated protein aggregate diseases. Desmin is an abundant muscle-specific intermediate filament, and disease mutations lead to its aggregation in cells, animals, and patients. We reasoned that similar to neurodegeneration-associated proteins, desmin itself may form amyloid. Desmin peptides corresponding to putative amyloidogenic regions formed seeding-competent amyloid fibrils. Amyloid formation was increased when disease-associated mutations were made within the peptide, and this conversion was inhibited by the anti-amyloid compound epigallocatechin-gallate. Moreover, a purified desmin fragment (aa 117 to 348) containing both amyloidogenic regions formed amyloid fibrils under physiologic conditions. Desmin fragment-derived amyloid coaggregated with full-length desmin and was able to template its conversion into fibrils in vitro. Desmin amyloids were cytotoxic to myotubes and disrupted their myofibril organization compared with desmin monomer or other nondesmin amyloids. Finally, desmin fragment amyloid persisted when introduced into mouse skeletal muscle. These data suggest that desmin forms seeding-competent amyloid that is toxic to myofibers. Moreover, small molecules known to interfere with amyloid formation and propagation may have therapeutic potential in MFM.
Project description:Amyloids are protein fibrils with a characteristic spatial structure. Amyloids were long perceived as the pathogens involved in a set of lethal diseases in humans and animals. In recent decades, it has become clear that amyloids represent a quaternary protein structure that is not only pathological but also functionally important and is widely used by different organisms, ranging from archaea to animals, to implement diverse biological functions. The greatest biological variety of amyloids is found in prokaryotes, where they control the formation of biofilms and cell wall sheaths, facilitate the overcoming of surface tension, and regulate the metabolism of toxins. Several amyloid proteins were identified in the important model, biotechnological and pathogenic bacterium Escherichia coli. In previous studies, using a method for the proteomic screening and identification of amyloids, we identified 61 potentially amyloidogenic proteins in the proteome of E. coli. Among these proteins, YghJ was the most enriched with bioinformatically predicted amyloidogenic regions. YghJ is a lipoprotein with a zinc metalloprotease M60-like domain that is involved in mucin degradation in the intestine as well as in proinflammatory responses. In this study, we analyzed the amyloid properties of the YghJ M60-like domain and demonstrated that it forms amyloid-like fibrils in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:TDP-43 proteinopathies are clinically and genetically heterogeneous diseases that had been considered distinct from classical amyloid diseases. Here, we provide evidence for the structural similarity between TDP-43 peptides and other amyloid proteins. Atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy examination of peptides spanning a previously defined amyloidogenic fragment revealed a minimal core region that forms amyloid fibrils similar to the TDP-43 fibrils detected in FTLD-TDP brain tissues. An ALS-mutant A315E amyloidogenic TDP-43 peptide is capable of cross-seeding other TDP-43 peptides and an amyloid-? peptide. Sequential Nuclear Overhauser Effects and double-quantum-filtered correlation spectroscopy in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses of the A315E-mutant TDP-43 peptide indicate that it adopts an anti-parallel ? conformation. When added to cell cultures, the amyloidogenic TDP-43 peptides induce TDP-43 redistribution from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Neuronal cultures in compartmentalized microfluidic-chambers demonstrate that the TDP-43 peptides can be taken up by axons and induce axonotoxicity and neuronal death, thus recapitulating key neuropathological features of TDP-43 proteinopathies. Importantly, a single amino acid change in the amyloidogenic TDP-43 peptide that disrupts fibril formation also eliminates neurotoxicity, supporting that amyloidogenesis is critical for TDP-43 neurotoxicity.
Project description:Amyloids are often associated with pathologic processes such as in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but can also underlie physiological processes such as pigmentation. Formation of pathological and functional amyloidogenic substrates can require precursor processing by proteases, as exemplified by the generation of A? peptide from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by beta-site APP cleaving enzyme (BACE)1 and ?-secretase. Proteolytic processing of the pigment cell-specific Melanocyte Protein (PMEL) is also required to form functional amyloid fibrils during melanogenesis, but the enzymes involved are incompletely characterized. Here we show that the BACE1 homologue BACE2 processes PMEL to generate functional amyloids. BACE2 is highly expressed in pigment cells and Bace2(-/-) but not Bace1(-/-) mice display coat color defects, implying a specific role for BACE2 during melanogenesis. By using biochemical and morphological analyses, combined with RNA silencing, pharmacologic inhibition, and BACE2 overexpression in a human melanocytic cell line, we show that BACE2 cleaves the integral membrane form of PMEL within the juxtamembrane domain, releasing the PMEL luminal domain into endosomal precursors for the formation of amyloid fibrils and downstream melanosome morphogenesis. These studies identify an amyloidogenic substrate of BACE2, reveal an important physiological role for BACE2 in pigmentation, and highlight analogies in the generation of PMEL-derived functional amyloids and APP-derived pathological amyloids.
Project description:Given the ability of molecular chaperones and chaperone-like proteins to inhibit the formation of pathological amyloid fibrils, the chaperone-based therapy of amyloidosis has recently been proposed. However, since these diseases are often diagnosed at the stages when a large amount of amyloids is already accumulated in the patient's body, in this work we pay attention to the undeservedly poorly studied problem of chaperone and chaperone-like proteins' effect on mature amyloid fibrils. We showed that a heat shock protein alpha-B-crystallin, which is capable of inhibiting fibrillogenesis and is found in large quantities as a part of amyloid plaques, can induce degradation of mature amyloids by two different mechanisms. Under physiological conditions, alpha-B-crystallin induces fluffing and unweaving of amyloid fibrils, which leads to a partial decrease in their structural ordering without lowering their stability and can increase their cytotoxicity. We found a higher correlation between the rate and effectiveness of amyloids degradation with the size of fibrils clusters rather than with amino acid sequence of amyloidogenic protein. Some external effects (such as an increase in medium acidity) can lead to a change in the mechanism of fibrils degradation induced by alpha-B-crystallin: amyloid fibers are fragmented without changing their secondary structure and properties. According to recent data, fibrils cutting can lead to the generation of seeds for new bona fide amyloid fibrils and accelerate the accumulation of amyloids, as well as enhance the ability of fibrils to disrupt membranes and to reduce cell viability. Our results emphasize the need to test the chaperone effect not only on fibrillogenesis, but also on the mature amyloid fibrils, including stress conditions, in order to avoid undesirable disease progression during chaperone-based therapy.
Project description:Amyloids represent protein fibrils with a highly ordered spatial structure, which not only cause dozens of incurable human and animal diseases but also play vital biological roles in Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Despite the fact that association of bacterial amyloids with microbial pathogenesis and infectious diseases is well known, there is a lack of information concerning the amyloids of symbiotic bacteria. In this study, using the previously developed proteomic method for screening and identification of amyloids (PSIA), we identified amyloidogenic proteins in the proteome of the root nodule bacterium Rhizobium leguminosarum. Among 54 proteins identified, we selected two proteins, RopA and RopB, which are predicted to have ?-barrel structure and are likely to be involved in the control of plant-microbial symbiosis. We demonstrated that the full-length RopA and RopB form bona fide amyloid fibrils in vitro. In particular, these fibrils are ?-sheet-rich, bind Thioflavin T (ThT), exhibit green birefringence upon staining with Congo Red (CR), and resist treatment with ionic detergents and proteases. The heterologously expressed RopA and RopB intracellularly aggregate in yeast and assemble into amyloid fibrils at the surface of Escherichia coli. The capsules of the R. leguminosarum cells bind CR, exhibit green birefringence, and contain fibrils of RopA and RopB in vivo.
Project description:The mechanical failure of mature amyloid fibers produces fragments that act as seeds for the growth of new fibrils. Fragmentation may also be correlated with cytotoxicity. We have used steered atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to study the mechanical failure of fibrils formed by the amyloidogenic fragment of human amylin hIAPP20-29 subjected to force applied in a variety of directions. By introducing systematic variations to this peptide sequence in silico, we have also investigated the role of the amino-acid sequence in determining the mechanical stability of amyloid fibrils. Our calculations show that the force required to induce mechanical failure depends on the direction of the applied stress and upon the degree of structural order present in the ?-sheet assemblies, which in turn depends on the peptide sequence. The results have implications for the importance of sequence-dependent mechanical properties on seeding the growth of new fibrils and the role of breakage events in cytotoxicity.
Project description:Amyloids are non-branching fibrils that are composed of stacked monomers stabilized by intermolecular ?-sheets. Some amyloids are associated with incurable diseases, whereas others, functional amyloids, regulate different vital processes. The prevalence and significance of functional amyloids in wildlife are still poorly understood. In recent years, by applying new approach of large-scale proteome screening, a number of novel candidate amyloids were identified in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, many of which are localized in the yeast cell wall. In this work, we showed that one of these proteins, Toh1, possess amyloid properties. The Toh1-YFP hybrid protein forms detergent-resistant aggregates in the yeast cells while being expressed under its own PTOH1 or inducible PCUP1 promoter. Using bacterial system for generation of extracellular amyloid aggregates C-DAG, we demonstrated that the N-terminal Toh1 fragment, containing amyloidogenic regions predicted in silico, binds Congo Red dye, manifests 'apple-green' birefringence when examined between crossed polarizers, and forms amyloid-like fibrillar aggregates visualized by TEM. We have established that the Toh1(20-365)-YFP hybrid protein fluorescent aggregates are co-localized with a high frequency with Rnq1C-CFP and Sup35NM-CFP aggregates in the yeast cells containing [PIN+] and [PSI+] prions, and physical interaction of these aggregated proteins was confirmed by FRET. This is one of a few known cases of physical interaction of non-Q/N-rich amyloid-like protein and Q/N-rich amyloids, suggesting that interaction of different amyloid proteins may be determined not only by similarity of their primary structures but also by similarity of their secondary structures and of conformational folds.
Project description:Microcin E492 (MccE492) is a pore-forming bacteriocin produced and exported by Klebsiella pneumoniae RYC492. Besides its antibacterial activity, excreted MccE492 can form amyloid fibrils in vivo as well as in vitro. It has been proposed that bacterial amyloids can be functional playing a biological role, and in the particular case of MccE492 it would control the antibacterial activity. MccE492 amyloid fibril's morphology and formation kinetics in vitro have been well-characterized, however, it is not known which amino acid residues determine its amyloidogenic propensity, nor if it forms intracellular amyloid inclusions as has been reported for other bacterial amyloids. In this work we found the conditions in which MccE492 forms intracellular amyloids in Escherichia coli cells, that were visualized as round-shaped inclusion bodies recognized by two amyloidophilic probes, 2-4'-methylaminophenyl benzothiazole and thioflavin-S. We used this property to perform a flow cytometry-based assay to evaluate the aggregation propensity of MccE492 mutants, that were designed using an in silico prediction of putative aggregation hotspots. We established that the predicted amino acid residues 54-63, effectively act as a pro-amyloidogenic stretch. As in the case of other amyloidogenic proteins, this region presented two gatekeeper residues (P57 and P59), which disfavor both intracellular and in vitro MccE492 amyloid formation, preventing an uncontrolled aggregation. Mutants in each of these gatekeeper residues showed faster in vitro aggregation and bactericidal inactivation kinetics, and the two mutants were accumulated as dense amyloid inclusions in more than 80% of E. coli cells expressing these variants. In contrast, the MccE492 mutant lacking residues 54-63 showed a significantly lower intracellular aggregation propensity and slower in vitro polymerization kinetics. Electron microscopy analysis of the amyloids formed in vitro by these mutants revealed that, although with different efficiency, all formed fibrils morphologically similar to wild-type MccE492. The physiological implication of MccE492 intracellular amyloid formation is probably similar to the inactivation process observed for extracellular amyloids, and could be used as a mean of sequestering potentially toxic species inside the cell when this bacteriocin is produced in large amounts.
Project description:Amyloids are protein fibrils with characteristic spatial structure. Though amyloids were long perceived to be pathogens that cause dozens of incurable pathologies in humans and mammals, it is currently clear that amyloids also represent a functionally important form of protein structure implicated in a variety of biological processes in organisms ranging from archaea and bacteria to fungi and animals. Despite their social significance, plants remain the most poorly studied group of organisms in the field of amyloid biology. To date, amyloid properties have only been demonstrated in vitro or in heterologous systems for a small number of plant proteins. Here, for the first time, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the distribution of potentially amyloidogenic proteins in the proteomes of approximately 70 species of land plants using the Waltz and SARP (Sequence Analysis based on the Ranking of Probabilities) bioinformatic algorithms. We analyzed more than 2.9 million protein sequences and found that potentially amyloidogenic proteins are abundant in plant proteomes. We found that such proteins are overrepresented among membrane as well as DNA- and RNA-binding proteins of plants. Moreover, seed storage and defense proteins of most plant species are rich in amyloidogenic regions. Taken together, our data demonstrate the diversity of potentially amyloidogenic proteins in plant proteomes and suggest biological processes where formation of amyloids might be functionally important.
Project description:Typically, elongation of an amyloid fibril entails passing conformational details of the mother seed to daughter generations of fibrils with high fidelity. There are, however, several factors that can potentially prevent such transgenerational structural imprinting from perpetuating, for example heterogeneity of mother seeds or so-called conformational switching. Here, we examine phenotypic persistence of bovine insulin amyloid ([BI]) upon multiple rounds of self-seeding under quiescent conditions. According to infrared spectroscopy, with the following passages of homologous seeding, daughter fibrils gradually depart from the mother seed's spectral characteristics. We note that this transgenerational structural drift in [BI] amyloid leads toward fibrils with infrared, chiroptical, and morphological traits similar to those of the superstructural variant of fibrils which normally forms upon strong agitation of insulin solutions. However, in contrast to agitation-induced insulin amyloid, the superstructural assemblies of daughter fibrils isolated through self-seeding are sonication-resistant. Our results suggest that formation of single amyloid fibrils is not a dead-end of the amyloidogenic self-assembly. Instead, the process appears to continue toward the self-assembly of higher-order structures although on longer time-scales. From this perspective, the fast agitation-induced aggregation of insulin appears to be a shortcut to amyloid superstructures whose formation under quiescent conditions is slow.