Nanoparticle-Induced Folding and Fibril Formation of Coiled-Coil-Based Model Peptides.
S.C. Wagner, M. Roskamp, M. Pallerla, R.R. Araghi, S. Schlecht and B. Koksch – 2010
Nanomedicine is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to deliver treatments for many illnesses. However, relatively little is known about the biological risks of nanoparticles. Some studies have shown that nanoparticles can have an impact on the aggregation properties of proteins, including fibril formation. Moreover, these studies also show that the capacity of nanoscale objects to induce or prevent misfolding of the proteins strongly depends on the primary structure of the protein. Herein, light is shed on the role of the peptide primary structure in directing nanoparticle-induced misfolding by means of two model peptides. The design of these peptides is based on the α-helical coiled-coil folding motif, but also includes features that enable them to respond to pH changes, thus allowing pH-dependent β-sheet formation. Previous studies showed that the two peptides differ in the pH range required for β-sheet folding. Time-dependent circular dichroism spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy are used to characterize peptide folding and aggregate morphology in the presence of negatively charged gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Both peptides are found to undergo nanoparticle-induced fibril formation. The determination of binding parameters by isothermal titration calorimetry further reveals that the different propensities of both peptides to form amyloid-like structures in the presence of AuNPs is primarily due to the binding stoichiometry to the AuNPs. Modification of one of the peptide sequences shows that AuNP-induced β-sheet formation is related to the structural propensity of the primary structure and is not a generic feature of peptide sequences with a sufficiently high binding stoichiometry to the nanoparticles.