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Scientific Reports




Springer Nature


Aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a peptide hormone co-synthesized and co-stored with insulin in pancreatic cells and also co-secreted to the circulation, is associated with beta-cell death in type-2 diabetes (T2D). In T2D patients IAPP is found aggregating in the extracellular space of the islets of Langerhans. Although the physiological environments of these intra- and extra-cellular compartments and vascular systems significantly differ, the presence of proteins is ubiquitous but the effects of protein binding on IAPP aggregation are largely unknown. Here we examined the binding of freshly-dissolved IAPP as well as pre-formed fibrils with two homologous proteins, namely cationic lysozyme (Lys) and anionic alpha-lactalbumin (aLac), both of which can be found in the circulation. Biophysical characterizations and a cell viability assay revealed distinct effects of Lys and aLac on IAPP amyloid aggregation, fibril remodelling and cytotoxicity, pointing to the role of protein “corona” in conferring the biological impact of amyloidogenic peptides. Systematic molecular dynamics simulations further provided molecular and structural details for the observed differential effects of proteins on IAPP amyloidosis. This study facilitates our understanding of the fate and transformation of IAPP in vivo, which are expected to have consequential bearings on IAPP glycemic control and T2D pathology.


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