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Detection and characterization of aggregates, prefibrillar amyloidogenic oligomers, and protofibrils using fluorescence spectroscopy
Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biochemistry. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biochemistry. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2005 (English)In: Biophysical Journal, ISSN 0006-3495, Vol. 88, no 6, 4200-4212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Transthyretin (TTR) is a protein linked to a number of different amyloid diseases including senile systemic amyloidosis and familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. The transient nature of oligomeric intermediates of misfolded TTR that later mature into fibrillar aggregates makes them hard to study, and methods to study these species are sparse. In this work we explore a novel pathway for generation of prefibrillar aggregates of TTR, which provides important insight into TTR misfolding. Prefibrillar amyloidogenic oligomers and protofibrils of misfolded TTR were generated in vitro through induction of the molten globule type A-state from acid unfolded TTR through the addition of NaCl. The aggregation process produced fairly monodisperse oligomers (300–500 kD) within 2 h that matured after 20 h into larger spherical clusters (30–50 nm in diameter) and protofibrils as shown by transmission electron microscopy. Further maturation of the aggregates showed shrinkage of the spheres as the fibrils grew in length, suggesting a conformational change of the spheres into more rigid structures. The structural and physicochemical characteristics of the aggregates were investigated using fluorescence, circular dichroism, chemical cross-linking, and transmission electron microscopy. The fluorescent dyes 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (ANS), 4-4-bis-1-phenylamino-8-naphthalene sulfonate (Bis-ANS), 4-(dicyanovinyl)-julolidine (DCVJ), and thioflavin T (ThT) were employed in both static and kinetic assays to characterize these oligomeric and protofibrillar states using both steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. DCVJ, a molecular rotor, was employed for the first time for studies of an amyloidogenic process and is shown useful for detection of the early steps of the oligomerization process. DCVJ bound to the early prefibrillar oligomers (300–500 kD) with an apparent dissociation constant of 1.6 mM, which was slightly better than for ThT (6.8 mM). Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy decay of ANS was shown to be a useful tool for giving further structural and kinetic information of the oligomeric aggregates. ThT dramatically increases its fluorescence quantum yield when bound to amyloid fibrils; however, the mechanism behind this property is unknown. Data from this work suggest that unbound ThT is also intrinsically quenched and functions similarly to a molecular rotor, which in combination with its environmental dependence provides a blue shift to the characteristic 482nm wavelength when bound to amyloid fibrils.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 88, no 6, 4200-4212 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12561DOI: 10.1529/biophysj.104.049700OAI: diva2:1709
Available from: 2008-09-15 Created: 2008-09-15 Last updated: 2009-05-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Molecular Aspects of Transthyretin Amyloid Disease
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Molecular Aspects of Transthyretin Amyloid Disease
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis was made to get a deeper understanding of how chaperones interact with unstable, aggregation prone, misfolded proteins involved in human disease. Over the last two decades, there has been much focus on misfolding diseases within the fields of biochemistry and molecular biotechnology research. It has become obvious that proteins that misfold (as a consequence of a mutation or outer factors), are the cause of many diseases. Molecular chaperones are proteins that have been defined as agents that help other proteins to fold correctly and to prevent aggregation. Their role in the misfolding disease process has been the subject for this thesis.

Transthyretin (TTR) is a protein found in human plasma and in cerebrospinal fluid. It works as a transport protein, transporting thyroxin and holo-retinol binding protein. The structure of TTR consists of four identical subunits connected through hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Over 100 point mutations in the TTR gene are associated with amyloidosis often involving peripheral neurodegeneration (familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP)). Amyloidosis represents a group of diseases leading to extra cellular deposition of fibrillar protein known as amyloid. We used human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells as a model for neurodegeneration. Various conformers of TTR were incubated with the cells for different amounts of time. The experiments showed that early prefibrillar oligomers of TTR induced apoptosis when neuroblastoma cells were exposed to these species whereas mature fibrils were not cytotoxic. We also found increased expression of the molecular chaperone BiP in cells challenged with TTR oligomers.

Point mutations destabilize TTR and result in monomers that are unstable and prone to aggregate. TTR D18G is naturally occurring and the most destabilized TTR mutant found to date. It leads to central nervous system (CNS) amyloidosis. The CNS phenotype is rare for TTR amyloid disease. Most proteins associated with amyloid disease are secreted proteins and secreted proteins must pass the quality control check within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). BiP is a Hsp70 molecular chaperone situated in the ER. BiP is one of the most important components of the quality control system in the cell. We have used TTR D18G as a model for understanding how an extremely aggregation prone protein is handled by BiP. We have shown that BiP can selectively capture TTR D18G during co-expression in both E. coli and during over expression in human 293T cells and collects the mutant in oligomeric states. We have also shown that degradation of TTR D18G in human 293T cells occurs slower in presence of BiP, that BiP is present in amyloid deposition in human brain and mitigates cytotoxicity of TTR D18G oligomers.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling handlar om proteiner. Särskilt de som inte fungerar som de ska utan har blivit vad man kallar ”felveckade”. Anledningen till att proteiner veckas fel beror ofta (men inte alltid) på mutationer i arvsmassan. Felveckade proteiner kan leda till sjukdomar hos människor och djur (man brukar tala om amyloidsjukdomar), ofta av neurologisk karaktär. Exempel på amyloidsjukdomar är polyneuropati, där perifera nervsystemet är drabbat, vilket leder till begränsad rörelseförmåga och senare till förlamning; och Alzheimer´s sjukdom, där centrala nervsystemet är drabbat och leder till begränsad tankeförmåga och minnesförluster.

Studierna som presenteras i denna avhandling har gått ut på att få en bättre förståelse för hur felveckade proteiner interagerar med det som vi har naturligt i cellerna och som fungerar som skyddande, hjälpande proteiner, så kallade chaperoner.

Transtyretin (TTR) är ett protein som cirkulerar i blodet och transporterar tyroxin (som är ett hormon som bland annat har betydelse för ämnesomsättningen) samt retinol-bindande protein (vitamin A). I TTR genen har man funnit över 100 punktmutationer, vilka har kopplats samman med amyloidsjukdomar, bland annat ”Skellefteåsjukan”. Mutationer i TTR genen leder ofta till att proteinet blir instabilt vilket leder till upplösning av TTR tetrameren till monomerer. Dessa monomerer kan därefter sammanfogas på nytt men denna gång på ett sätt som är farligt för organismen. I denna avhandling har fokus legat på en mutation som kallas TTR D18G, vilken har identifierats i olika delar av världen och leder till en dödlig form av amyloidos i centrala nervsystemet.

Det chaperon som vi har studerat benämns BiP och är beläget i en cellkomponent som kallas för det endoplasmatiska retiklet (ER). I ER finns cellens kontrollsystem i vilket det ses till att felveckade proteiner inte släpps ut utan istället bryts ned.

Denna avhandling har visat att BiP kan fånga upp TTR D18G inuti celler och där samla mutanten i lösliga partiklar som i detta fall är ofarliga för cellen. Avhandligen har också visat att nedbrytningen av TTR D18G sker mycket långsammare när BiP finns i riklig mängd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. 61 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1179
Amyloid, apoptosis, BiP, chaperone, misfolding, oligomer, transthyretin
National Category
Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12566 (URN)978-91-7393-906-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-05-30, Planck, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 14:15 (English)
Available from: 2008-09-15 Created: 2008-09-15 Last updated: 2009-05-15Bibliographically approved

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