Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) accumulates as pancreatic amyloid in type 2 diabetes and readily forms fibrils in vitro. Investigations into the mechanism of hIAPP fibril formation have focused largely on residues 20 to 29, which are considered to comprise a primary amyloidogenic domain. In rodents, proline substitutions within this region and the subsequent beta-sheet disruption, prevents fibril formation. An additional amyloidogenic fragment within the C-terminal sequence, residues 30 to 37, has been identified recently. We have extended these observations by examining a series of overlapping peptide fragments from the human and rodent sequences. Using protein spectroscopy (CD/FTIR), electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, a previously unrecognised amyloidogenic domain was localised within residues 8 to 20. Synthetic peptides corresponding to this region exhibited a transition from random coil to beta-sheet conformation and assembled into fibrils having a typical amyloid-like morphology. The comparable rat 8-20 sequence, which contains a single His18Arg substitution, was also capable of assembling into amyloid-like fibrils. Examination of peptide fragments corresponding to residues 1 to 13 revealed that the immediate N-terminal region is likely to have only a modulating influence on fibril formation or conformational conversion. The contributions of charged residues as they relate to the amyloid-forming 8-20 sequence were also investigated using IAPP fragments and by assessing the effects of pH and counterions. The identification of these principal amyloidogenic sequences and the effects of associated factors provide details on the IAPP aggregation pathway and structure of the peptide in its fibrillar state.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.