The relationships between amino acid sequence, nano-assemblies, and cytotoxicity to neuron cytotoxicity were investigated using β-sheet-forming peptides from Araneus ventricosus spider silk, and amyloid forming peptides Aβ(12-28) (β1), Aβ(28-42) (β2), and full-length Aβ(1-42). Although silk derived peptides formed nano-assemblies, nanofilaments, and nanofibrils with β-sheet contents raging from 24 to 40%, they showed no significant cytotoxicity to neurons. In contrast, nano-assemblies and nanofibrils formed from Aβ peptides with high β-sheet content demonstrated cytotoxicity to the neurons. These differences in cell response between the silk β-sheets and Aβ peptides indicate that the general propensity to form beta sheets and form nanostructures is not sufficient to predict cytotoxicity, while surface charges of the assemblies are significant factors that impact cytotoxicity.
© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.