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A Kinetic Model for β-Amyloid Adsorption at the Air/Solution Interface and Its Implication to the β-Amyloid Aggregation Process

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journal contribution
posted on 12.03.2009, 00:00 by Dianlu Jiang, Kim Lien Dinh, Travis C. Ruthenburg, Yi Zhang, Lei Su, Donald P. Land, Feimeng Zhou
At the air/buffer solution interface the kinetics of adsorption of amyloid beta peptide, Aβ(1−42), whose bulk concentration (submicromolar) is more than 2 orders of magnitude lower than that typically used in other in vitro aggregation studies, has been studied using a Langmuir−Blodgett trough. The pressure−time curves exhibit a lag phase, wherein the surface pressure essentially remains at zero, and a rising phase, corresponding to the Aβ adsorption at the interface. The duration of the lag phase was found to be highly dependent on both the Aβ bulk concentration and the solution temperature. A large activation energy (62.2 ± 4.1 KJ/mol) was determined and the apparent adsorption rate constant was found to be linearly dependent on the Aβ bulk concentration. Attenuated total reflection-IR spectra of the adsorbed Aβ transferred to a solid substrate and circular dichroism measurements of Aβ in the solution layer near the interface reveal that the natively unstructured Aβ in the bulk undergo a conformation change (folding) to mainly the α-helical structure. The results suggest that, prior to the adsorption step, an equilibrium between Aβ conformations is established within the subsurface. The kinetic equation derived from this model confirms that the overall Aβ adsorption is kinetically controlled and the apparent rate constant is proportional to the Aβ bulk concentration. This model also indicates that interfaces such as cell membranes and lipid bilayers may facilitate Aβ aggregation/fibrillation by providing a thin hydrophobic layer adjacent to the interface for the initial Aβ conformation change (misfolding) and accumulation. Such a preconcentration effect offers a plausible explanation of the fact that Aβ fibrillation occurs in vivo at nanomolar concentrations. Another important biological implication from our work is that Aβ misfolding may occur before its adsorption onto a cell membrane. This general kinetic model should also find applications in adsorption studies of other types of biomolecules whose overall kinetics exhibits a lag phase that is dependent on the bulk concentration of the adsorbate.