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Impact of Mutations on the Conformational Transition from α‑Helix to β‑Sheet Structures in Arctic-Type Aβ40: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

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journal contribution
posted on 28.08.2020, 15:33 by Rajneet Kaur Saini, Suniba Shuaib, Deepti Goyal, Bhupesh Goyal
The amyloid-β (Aβ) protein aggregation into toxic oligomers and fibrils has been recognized as a key player in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent experiments reported that a double alanine mutation (L17A/F19A) in the central hydrophobic core (CHC) region of [G22]­Aβ40 (familial Arctic mutation) diminished the self-assembly propensity of [G22]­Aβ40. However, the molecular mechanism behind the decreased aggregation tendency of [A17/A19/G22]­Aβ40 is not well understood. Herein, we carried out molecular dynamics simulations to elucidate the structure and dynamics of [G22]­Aβ40 and [A17/A19/G22]­Aβ40. The results for the secondary structure analysis reveal a significantly increased amount of the helical content in the CHC and C-terminal region of [A17/A19/G22]­Aβ40 as compared to [G22]­Aβ40. The bending free-energy analysis of D23–K28 salt bridge suggests that the double alanine mutation in the CHC region of [G22]­Aβ40 has the potential to reduce the fibril formation rate by 0.57 times of [G22]­Aβ40. Unlike [G22]­Aβ40, [A17/A19/G22]­Aβ40 largely sampled helical conformation, as determined by the minimum energy conformations extracted from the free-energy landscape. The present study provided atomic level details into the experimentally observed diminished aggregation tendency of [A17/A19/G22]­Aβ40 as compared to [G22]­Aβ40.