Martinez, Anna Victoria; Malolepsza, Edyta; Rivera, Eva; Lu, Qing; Straub, John E.
Exploring the role of hydration and confinement in the aggregation of amyloidogenic peptides A beta(16-22) and Sup35(7-13) in AOT reverse micelles
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 141 Art. No. 22D530, DEC 14 2014

Knowledge of how intermolecular interactions of amyloid-forming proteins cause protein aggregation and how those interactions are affected by sequence and solution conditions is essential to our understanding of the onset of many degenerative diseases. Of particular interest is the aggregation of the amyloid-beta (A beta) peptide, linked to Alzheimer's disease, and the aggregation of the Sup35 yeast prion peptide, which resembles the mammalian prion protein linked to spongiform encephalopathies. To facilitate the study of these important peptides, experimentalists have identified small peptide congeners of the full-length proteins that exhibit amyloidogenic behavior, including the KLVFFAE sub-sequence, A beta(16-22), and the GNNQQNY subsequence, Sup35(7-13). In this study, molecular dynamics simulations were used to examine these peptide fragments encapsulated in reverse micelles (RMs) in order to identify the fundamental principles that govern how sequence and solution environment influence peptide aggregation. A beta(16-22) and Sup35(7-13) are observed to organize into anti-parallel and parallel beta-sheet arrangements. Confinement in the sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate (AOT) reverse micelles is shown to stabilize extended peptide conformations and enhance peptide aggregation. Substantial fluctuations in the reverse micelle shape are observed, in agreement with earlier studies. Shape fluctuations are found to facilitate peptide solvation through interactions between the peptide and AOT surfactant, including direct interaction between non-polar peptide residues and the aliphatic surfactant tails. Computed amide I IR spectra are compared with experimental spectra and found to reflect changes in the peptide structures induced by confinement in the RM environment. Furthermore, examination of the rotational anisotropy decay of water in the RM demonstrates that the water dynamics are sensitive to the presence of peptide as well as the peptide sequence. Overall, our results demonstrate that the RM is a complex confining environment where substantial direct interaction between the surfactant and peptides plays an important role in determining the resulting ensemble of peptide conformations. By extension the results suggest that similarly complex sequence-dependent interactions may determine conformational ensembles of amyloid-beta forming peptides in a cellular environment. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


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