The pressure and temperature perturbation approach reveals a whole variety of conformational substates of amyloidogenic hIAPP monitored by 2D NMR spectroscopy.


Institute of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry, Center for Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry and Biomedicine, University of Regensburg, Universitätsstr. 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


The intrinsically disordered human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) is a 37 amino acid peptide hormone that is secreted by pancreatic beta cells along with glucagon and insulin. The glucose metabolism of humans is regulated by a balanced ratio of insulin and hIAPP. The disturbance of this balance can result in the development of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), whose pathogeny is associated by self-assembly induced aggregation and amyloid deposits of hIAPP into nanofibrils. Here, we report pressure- and temperature-induced changes of NMR chemical shifts of monomeric hIAPP in bulk solution to elucidate the contribution of conformational substates in a residue-specific manner in their role as molecular determinants for the initial self-assembly. The comparison with a similar peptide, the Alzheimer peptide Aβ(1-40), which is leading to self-assembly induced aggregation and amyloid deposits as well, reveals that in both peptides highly homologous areas exist (Q10-‍L16 and N21-L27 in hIAPP and Q15-A21 and S26-I32 in Aβ). The N-terminal area of hIAPP around amino acid residues 3-20 displays large differences in pressure sensitivity compared to Aβ, pinpointing to a different structural ensemble in this sequence element which is of helical origin in hIAPP. Knowledge of the structural nature of the highly amyloidogenic hIAPP and the differences with respect to the conformational ensemble of Aβ(1-40) will help to identify molecular determinants of self-assembly as well as cross-seeded assembly initiated aggregation and help facilitate the rational design of drugs for therapeutic use.

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