Acetylation of Aβ42 at Lysine 16 Disrupts Amyloid Formation.

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Department of Chemistry; Department of Physics; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology


The residue lysine 28 (K28) is known to form an important salt bridge that stabilizes the Aβ amyloid structure, and acetylation of lysine 28 (K28Ac) slows the Aβ42 fibrillization rate but does not affect fibril morphology. On the other hand, acetylation of lysine 16 (K16Ac) residue greatly diminishes the fibrillization property of Aβ42 peptide and also affects its toxicity. This is due to the fact that lysine 16 acetylated amyloid beta peptide forms amorphous aggregates instead of amyloid fibrils. This is likely a result of increased hydrophobicity of the K16-A21 region due to K16 acetylation, as confirmed by molecular dynamic simulation studies. The calculated results show that the hydrophobic patches of aggregates from acetylated peptides were different when compared to wild-type (WT) peptide. K16Ac and double acetylated (KKAc) peptide aggregates show significantly higher cytotoxicity compared to the WT or K28Ac peptide aggregates alone. However, the heterogeneous mixture of WT and acetylated Aβ42 peptide aggregates exhibited higher free radical formation as well as cytotoxicity, suggesting dynamic interactions between different species could be a critical contributor to Aβ pathology.

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ACS Chemical Neuroscience