Amyloid-β fibril disruption by C < inf> 60 - Molecular guidance for rational drug design

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The WHO has listed Alzheimer's disease among the major neurological disorders with an estimated 35 million people affected worldwide. Amyloid-β is mostly believed to be the causative factor in Alzheimer's disease and the severity of the disease correlates with the tendency of amyloid-β to form aggregation patterns - plaques. Lacking effective medication, the identification of any underlying mechanistic principles regarding plaque formation appears to be crucial. Here we carry out computer simulations to study the effect of C 60 on structure and stability of an idealised pentameric construct of amyloid-β units (a model fibril). A binding site on top of the structurally ordered stack of β-sheets is identified that triggers structural alterations at the turn region of the hook-like β-sheet assembly. Significant structural alterations are: (i) the destruction of regular helical twist, (ii) the loss of a stabilizing salt bridge and (iii) the loss of a stabilizing hydrophobic interaction close to the turn. Consequently, the main effect of C 60 is the induction of sizable destabilization in native fibril structure. These structural insights may serve as a molecular guide for further rational drug design of effective inhibitors targeting fibril formation in Alzheimer's disease. This journal is © the Owner Societies 2012.

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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics