Beware of Cocktails: Chain-Length Bidispersity Triggers Explosive Self-Assembly of Poly-l-Glutamic Acid β2-Fibrils
Agnieszka Hernik-Magon, Wojciech Puławski, Bartłomiej Fedorczyk, Dagmara Tymecka, Aleksandra Misicka, Piotr Szymczak, Wojciech Dzwolak
Chain-length polydispersity is among the least understood factors governing the fibrillation propensity of homopolypeptides. For monodisperse poly-l-glutamic acid (PLGA), the tendency to form fibrils depends of the main-chain length. Long-chained PLGA, so-called (Glu)200, fibrillates more readily than short (Glu)5 fragments. Here we show that conversion of α-helical (Glu)200 into amyloid-like β-fibrils is dramatically accelerated in the presence of intrinsically disordered (Glu)5. While separately self-assembled fibrils of (Glu)200 and (Glu)5 reveal distinct morphological and infrared characteristics, accelerated fibrillation in mixed (Glu)200 and (Glu)5leads to aggregates similar to neat (Glu)200 fibrils, even in excess of (Glu)5. According to molecular dynamics simulations and circular dichroism measurements, local events of “misfolding transfer” from (Glu)5 to (Glu)200 may play a key role in the initial stages of conformational dynamics underlying the observed phenomenon. Our results highlight chain-length polydispersity as a potent, although so-far unrecognized factor profoundly affecting the fibrillation propensity of homopolypeptides.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Aggregation, Biochemistry