The presence of cross-β-structure as a key determinant of carbonic anhydrase amyloid fibrils cytotoxicity

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Apr 2;524(2):453-458. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.01.113. Epub 2020 Jan 29.


In most cases high cytotoxicity is characteristic of aggregates formed during lag phase of amyloid formation, whereas mature fibrils represent the depot of protein molecules incapable of damaging cell membranes. However, new experimental data show that in cases of some proteins the fibrils are the most toxic type of aggregates. Meanwhile, structural characteristics of cytotoxic fibrils and mechanisms of their cell damaging action are insufficiently explored. This work is dedicated to studying amyloid aggregation of bovine carbonic anhydrase (BCA) and effect of aggregates formed at different stages of amyloid formation on viability of the cells. Here we demonstrate that oligomers formed during lag phase do not decrease cell viability, whereas protofibrils and amyloids of BCA are cytotoxic. Obtained results allow concluding that toxicity of BCA aggregates is associated with the presence of amyloid cross-β-structure, which signature is absorbance peak at low wavenumbers at FTIR spectra (1615-1630 cm-1). Our data suppose that cross-β-core of ВСА amyloid fibrils is responsible for their cytotoxicity.

Keywords: Amyloids; Cross-β-structure; Cytotoxicity; Infrared spectroscopy; carbonic anhydrase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / chemistry
  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Amyloid / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Carbonic Anhydrase II / chemistry
  • Carbonic Anhydrase II / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Protein Aggregates
  • Protein Aggregation, Pathological / metabolism*
  • Protein Conformation, beta-Strand


  • Amyloid
  • Protein Aggregates
  • Carbonic Anhydrase II