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Keywords:

  • collagen;
  • triple helix;
  • light scattering;
  • CD;
  • NMR;
  • amyloid;
  • aggregation

Abstract

Type XXV collagen, or collagen-like amyloidogenic component, is a component of amyloid plaques, and recent studies suggest this collagen affects amyloid fibril elongation and has a genetic association with Alzheimer's disease. The relationship between the collagen triple helix and amyloid fibrils was investigated by studying peptide models, including a very stable triple helical peptide (Pro-Hyp-Gly)10, an amyloidogenic peptide GNNQQNY, and a hybrid peptide where the GNNQQNY sequence was incorporated between (GPO)n domains. Circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy showed the GNNQQNY peptide formed a random coil structure, whereas the hybrid peptide contained a central disordered GNNQQNY region transitioning to triple-helical ends. Light scattering confirmed the GNNQQNY peptide had a high propensity to form amyloid fibrils, whereas amyloidogenesis was delayed in the hybrid peptide. NMR data suggested the triple-helix constraints on the GNNQQNY sequence within the hybrid peptide may disfavor the conformational change necessary for aggregation. Independent addition of a triple-helical peptide to the GNNQQNY peptide under aggregating conditions delayed nucleation and amyloid fibril growth. The inhibition of amyloid nucleation depended on the Gly-Xaa-Yaa sequence and required the triple-helix conformation. The inhibitory effect of the collagen triple-helix on an amyloidogenic sequence, when in the same molecule or when added separately, suggests Type XXV collagen, and possibly other collagens, may play a role in regulating amyloid fibril formation. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 97: 795–806, 2012.