Concentration dependent switch in the kinetic pathway of lysozyme fibrillation: Spectroscopic and microscopic analysis
E. Kiran Kumar, Deepak Kumar Prasad, N. Prakash Prabhu
Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Formation of amyloid fibrils is found to be a general tendency of many proteins. Investigating the kinetic mechanisms and structural features of the intermediates and the final fibrillar state is essential to understand their role in amyloid diseases. Lysozyme, a notable model protein for amyloidogenic studies, readily formed fibrils in vitro at neutral pH in the presence of urea. It, however, showed two different kinetic pathways under varying urea concentrations when probed with thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence. In 2 M urea, lysozyme followed a nucleation-dependent fibril formation pathway which was not altered by varying the protein concentration from 2 mg/ml to 8 mg/ml. In 4 M urea, the protein exhibited concentration dependent change in the mechanism. At lower protein concentrations, lysozyme formed fibrils without any detectable nuclei (nucleation-independent polymerization pathway). When the concentration of the protein was increased above 3 mg/ml, the protein followed nucleation-dependent polymerization pathway as observed in the case of 2 M urea condition. This was further verified using microscopic images of the fibrils. The kinetic parameters such as lag time, elongation rate, and fibrillation half-time, which were derived from ThT fluorescence changes, showed linear dependency against the initial protein concentration suggested that under the nucleation-dependent pathway conditions, the protein followed primary-nucleation mechanism without any significant secondary nucleation events. The results also suggested that the differences in the initial protein conformation might alter the mechanism of fibrillation; however, at the higher protein concentrations lysozyme shifted to nucleation-dependent pathway.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Protein denaturation, Aggregation, Chemical stability, Biochemistry