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Intrinsic origin of amyloid aggregation: Behavior of histidine (εεε) and (δδδ) tautomer homodimers of Aβ (1–40)

Salimi, Abbas, Li, Hao, Shi, Hu, Lee, Jin Yong
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2019 v.1863 no.5 pp. 795-801
Alzheimer disease, amyloid, brain, histidine, hydrophobicity, molecular dynamics, pH, peptides, tautomerization, tautomers
Amyloid-beta protein (Aβ) accumulation in the brain, which is influenced by several factors, is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite the important role of histidine in stabilizing the fibrillar structure of the Aβ peptide at neutral pH, the effect of histidine tautomerism on Aβ peptide aggregation is still largely unknown. Histidine is in equilibrium between δ and ε tautomers and there are three histidine residues (H6, H13, and H14) in the Aβ(1–40) peptide. We performed molecular dynamics simulation on (δδδ) and (εεε) histidine tautomers with different initial homodimeric configurations to elucidate structural and aggregation features. Results indicate that (εεε) homodimers have very low propensity or almost no tendency to form β-sheets, whereas (δδδ) dimers predominantly form β-sheets due to interactions between central hydrophobic core (CHC) residues and C-terminal residues. β-sheet formation occurred in the same regions of each dimer chain at the CHC and C-/N- terminals for different configurations of (δδδ). These results suggest that (δδδ) has an important role in AD progression. Our study provides deeper insight into the effect of tautomerism of histidine residues in Aβ(1–40) on amyloid aggregation.