Human insulin is a widely used model protein for the study of amyloid formation as both associated to insulin injection amyloidosis in type II diabetes and highly prone to form amyloid fibrils in vitro. In this study, we aim to gain new structural insights into insulin fibril formation under two different aggregating conditions at neutral and acidic pH, using a combination of fluorescence, circular dichroism, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron miscroscopy. We reveal that fibrils formed at neutral pH are morphologically different from those obtained at lower pH. Moreover, differences in FTIR spectra were also detected. In addition, only insulin fibrils formed at neutral pH showed the characteristic blue-green fluorescence generally associated to amyloid fibrils. So far, the molecular origin of this fluorescence phenomenon has not been clarified and different hypotheses have been proposed. In this respect, our data provide experimental evidence that allow identifying the molecular origin of such intrinsic property.

Insights into Insulin Fibril Assembly at Physiological and Acidic pH and Related Amyloid Intrinsic Fluorescence

Iannuzzi, Clara;Borriello, Margherita;Portaccio, Marianna;Irace, Gaetano;Sirangelo, Ivana
2017

Abstract

Human insulin is a widely used model protein for the study of amyloid formation as both associated to insulin injection amyloidosis in type II diabetes and highly prone to form amyloid fibrils in vitro. In this study, we aim to gain new structural insights into insulin fibril formation under two different aggregating conditions at neutral and acidic pH, using a combination of fluorescence, circular dichroism, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron miscroscopy. We reveal that fibrils formed at neutral pH are morphologically different from those obtained at lower pH. Moreover, differences in FTIR spectra were also detected. In addition, only insulin fibrils formed at neutral pH showed the characteristic blue-green fluorescence generally associated to amyloid fibrils. So far, the molecular origin of this fluorescence phenomenon has not been clarified and different hypotheses have been proposed. In this respect, our data provide experimental evidence that allow identifying the molecular origin of such intrinsic property.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/382910
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