Annular structures as intermediates in fibril formation of alzheimer Aβ17-42

Jie Zheng*, Hyunbum Jang, Buyong Ma, Ruth Nussinov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of annular β-amyloid (17-42) structures, single- and double-layered, in solution. We assess the structural stability and association force of Aβ annular oligomers associated through different interfaces, with a mutated sequence (M35A), and with the oxidation state (M350). Simulation results show that single-layered annular models display inherent structural instability: one is broken down into linear-like oligomers, and the other collapses. On the other hand, a double-layered annular structure where the two layers interact through their C-termini to form an NC-CN interface (where N and C are the N and C termini, respectively) exhibits high structural stability over the simulation time due to strong hydrophobic interactions and geometrical constraints induced by the closed circular shape. The observed dimensions and molecular weight of the oligomers from atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments are found to correspond well to our stable double-layered model with the NC-CN interface. Comparison with K3 annular structures derived from the β2-microglobulin suggests that the driving force for amyloid formation is sequence specific, strongly dependent on side-chain packing arrangements, structural morphologies, sequence composition, and residue positions. Combined with our previous simulations of linear-like Aβ, K3 peptide, and sup35-derived GNNQQNY peptide, the annular structures provide useful insight into oligomeric structures and driving forces that are critical in amyloid fibril formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6856-6865
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number22
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2008


FundersFunder number
National Cancer InstituteZIABC010440


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