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Mercury and Alzheimer's Disease: Hg(II) Ions Display Specific Binding to the Amyloid-? Peptide and Hinder Its Fibrillization.


ABSTRACT: Brains and blood of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients have shown elevated mercury concentrations, but potential involvement of mercury exposure in AD pathogenesis has not been studied at the molecular level. The pathological hallmark of AD brains is deposition of amyloid plaques, consisting mainly of amyloid-? (A?) peptides aggregated into amyloid fibrils. A? peptide fibrillization is known to be modulated by metal ions such as Cu(II) and Zn(II). Here, we study in vitro the interactions between A? peptides and Hg(II) ions by multiple biophysical techniques. Fluorescence spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) show that Hg(II) ions have a concentration-dependent inhibiting effect on A? fibrillization: at a 1:1 A?·Hg(II) ratio only non-fibrillar A? aggregates are formed. NMR spectroscopy shows that Hg(II) ions interact with the N-terminal region of A?(1-40) with a micromolar affinity, likely via a binding mode similar to that for Cu(II) and Zn(II) ions, i.e., mainly via the histidine residues His6, His13, and His14. Thus, together with Cu(II), Fe(II), Mn(II), Pb(IV), and Zn(II) ions, Hg(II) belongs to a family of metal ions that display residue-specific binding interactions with A? peptides and modulate their aggregation processes.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7022868 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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