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Structural Insights into the Inhibition of Amyloid Fibril Formation by Fibrinogen via Interaction with Prefibrillar Intermediates

Yamamoto, Naoki, Akai, Taiki, Inoue, Rintaro, Sugiyama, Masaaki, Tamura, Atsuo, Chatani, Eri
Biochemistry 2019 v.58 no.24 pp. 2769-2781
amyloid, fibrinogen, insulin, models, molecular chaperones, neurodegenerative diseases, protein secretion, small-angle X-ray scattering, stoichiometry
Abnormal protein aggregation tends to result in the formation of β-sheet rich amyloid fibrils, which are related to various kinds of amyloidoses and neurodegenerative diseases. The susceptibility to aggregation of protein molecules is dealt with by proteostasis in living systems, in which molecular chaperones play an important role. Recently, several secreted proteins have been examined as extracellular chaperones with a potency to suppress the formation of amyloid fibrils, although the whole picture that includes their inhibition mechanisms is not yet understood. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of fibrinogen (Fg), one of the extracellular proteins identified as a potential member of the group of chaperones, on fibril formation. Insulin B chain was used as an amyloid formation model system because its prefibrillar intermediate species in the nucleation phase were well characterized. We revealed that Fg efficiently inhibited amyloid fibril formation via a direct interaction with the surface of the prefibrillar intermediates. Small-angle X-ray scattering experiments and a stoichiometry analysis suggested a structural model in which the surface of the rod-shaped prefibrillar intermediates is surrounded by Fg molecules. From such a specific manner of interactions, we propose that the role of Fg is to disturb fibril growth by confining the nuclei even when the nucleation occurs inside the prefibrillar intermediate. The structural property of the B-chain intermediates complexed with Fg would provide insights into the general principles of the functions of chaperones and other potential chaperone-like proteins involved in amyloid-related diseases.