Some pathogenic mutations associated with Alzheimer's disease are thought to affect structural-dynamic properties and the lateral dimerization of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neuron membrane. Dimeric structure of APP transmembrane fragment Gln(686)-Lys(726) was determined in membrane-mimicking dodecylphosphocholine micelles using high-resolution NMR spectroscopy. The APP membrane-spanning α-helix Lys(699)-Lys(724) self-associates in a left-handed parallel dimer through extended heptad repeat motif I(702)X(3)M(706)X(2)G(709)X(3)A(713)X(2)I(716)X(3)I(720)X(2)I(723), whereas the juxtamembrane region Gln(686)-Val(695) constitutes the nascent helix, also sensing the dimerization. The dimerization mechanism of APP transmembrane domain has been described at atomic resolution for the first time and is important for understanding molecular events of APP sequential proteolytical cleavage resulting in amyloid-β peptide.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.