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Rapid Growth of Acetylated Aβ(16–20) into Macroscopic Crystals

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2018, 00:00 authored by Christian Bortolini, Lasse Hyldgaard Klausen, Søren Vrønning Hoffmann, Nykola C. Jones, Daniela Saadeh, Zegao Wang, Tuomas P. J. Knowles, Mingdong Dong
Aberrant assembly of the amyloid-β (Aβ) is responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but can also be exploited to obtain highly functional biomaterials. The short Aβ fragment, KLVFF (Aβ16–20), is crucial for Aβ assembly and considered to be an Aβ aggregation inhibitor. Here, we show that acetylation of KLVFF turns it into an extremely fast self-assembling molecule, reaching macroscopic (i.e., mm) size in seconds. We show that KLVFF is metastable and that the self-assembly can be directed toward a crystalline or fibrillar phase simply through chemical modification, via acetylation or amidation of the peptide. Amidated KLVFF can form amyloid fibrils; we observed folding events of such fibrils occurring in as little as 60 ms. The ability of single KLVFF molecules to rapidly assemble as highly ordered macroscopic structures makes it a promising candidate for applications as a rapid-forming templating material.

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