Role of Side-chains in β-sheet Self-Assembly into Peptide Fibrils. IR and VCD Spectroscopic Studies of Glutamic AcidContaining Peptides
journal contributionposted on 20.04.2017 by Fernando Tobias, Timothy A. Keiderling
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Polyglutamic acid at low pH self-assembles after incubation at higher temperature into fibrils composed of antiparallel sheets that are stacked in a β2-type structure whose amide carbonyls have bifurcated H-bonds involving the side chains from the next sheet. Oligomers of Glu can also form such structures, and isotope labeling has provided insight into their out-ofregister antiparallel structure (Biomacromol. 2013, 14, 3880–3891). In this paper we report IR and VCD spectra and transmission electron micrograph (TEM) images for a series of alternately sequenced oligomers, Lys-(Aaa-Glu)5-Lys-NH2, where Aaa was varied over a variety of polar, aliphatic, or aromatic residues. Their spectral and TEM data show that these oligopeptides selfassemble into different structures, both local and morphological, that are dependent on both the nature of the Aaa sidechains and growth conditions employed. Such alternate peptides substituted with small or polar residues, Ala and Thr, do not yield fibrils; but with β-branched aliphatic residues, Val and Ile, that could potentially pack with Glu side chains, these oligopeptides do show evidence of β2-stacking. By contrast, for Leu, with longer sidechains, only β1-stacking is seen while with even larger Phe side chains, either β-form can be detected separately, depending on preparation conditions. These structures are dependent on high temperature incubation after reducing the pH and in some cases after sonication of initial fibril forms and reincubation. Some of these fibrillar peptides, but not all, show enhanced VCD, which can offer evidence for formation of long, multistrand, often twisted structures. Substitution of Glu with residues having selected side chains yields a variety of morphologies, leading to both β1 and β2 structures, that overall suggests two different packing modes for the hydrophobic sidechains depending on size and type.