Lysophosphatidylcholine modulates fibril formation of amyloid beta peptide

FEBS J. 2011 Feb;278(4):634-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07984.x. Epub 2011 Jan 17.


Phospholipids are known to influence fibril formation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide. Here, we show that lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), a polar phospholipid, enhances Aβ(1-42) fibril formation, by decreasing the lag time and the critical peptide concentration required for fibril formation, and increasing the fibril elongation rate. Conversely, LPC did not have an enhancing effect on Aβ(1-40) fibril formation, and appeared to be inhibitory. Tyrosine fluorescence spectroscopy showed that LPC altered the fluorescence spectra of Aβ(1-40) and Aβ(1-42) in opposite ways. Further, 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid fluorescence spectroscopy showed that LPC significantly increased the hydrophobicity of Aβ(1-42), but not of Aβ(1-40). Tris-tricine gradient SDS/PAGE revealed that LPC increased the formation of higher-molecular-weight species of Aβ(1-42), including trimers and tetramers. LPC had no such effect on Aβ(1-40), and thus may specifically influence the oligomerization and nucleation processes of Aβ(1-42) in a manner dependent on its native structure. Dot-blot assays confirmed that LPC induced Aβ(1-42) oligomer formation at an early time point. Thus our results indicate that LPC specifically enhances the formation of Aβ(1-42) fibrils, the main component of senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease patients, and may be involved in Alzheimer's disease pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / chemistry*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / ultrastructure
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / chemistry*
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / ultrastructure
  • Protein Multimerization*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-40)
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)